Israel warns of escalation from cross-border fire from Hezbollah

Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari points at what he says is a guard roster in a room the military suspects was used by Hamas to hold hostages in the basement of Rantissi Hospital

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Intensified cross-border fire from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement into Israel could trigger serious escalation, the Israeli military said on Sunday.

"Hezbollah’s increasing aggression is bringing us to the brink of what could be a wider escalation, one that could have devastating consequences for Lebanon and the entire region," Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a video statement in English.

Iran-backed Hezbollah last week launched the largest volleys of rockets and drones yet in the eight months it has been exchanging fire with the Israeli military, in parallel with the Gaza war.

After the relatively heavy exchanges over the past week, Sunday saw a marked drop in Hezbollah fire, while the Israeli military said that it had carried out several air strikes against the group in southern Lebanon.

The U.S. and France are working on a negotiated settlement to the hostilities along Lebanon's southern border. Hezbollah says it will not halt fire unless Israel stops its military offensive on Gaza.

"Israel will take the necessary measures to protect its civilians — until security along our border with Lebanon is restored," Hagari said.

(Reporting by Maayan LubellEditing by Peter Graff)