Lebanon's Hezbollah launches deepest attack into Israel since start of Gaza war

DUBAI (Reuters) -Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group said on Tuesday it had launched a drone attack against Israeli military bases north of the city of Acre, in its deepest strike into Israeli territory since the Gaza war began.

The Israeli military said it had no knowledge of any of its facilities being hit by Hezbollah, but had said earlier on Tuesday that it intercepted two "aerial targets" off Israel's northern coast.

The two sides have been engaging in regular exchanges of missile fire and airstrikes since the start of the war in Gaza last October, but have refrained from pushing the conflict into all-out war.

As the strikes have continued, however, fears have grown that an accident or miscalculation on either side could see the conflict could escalate rapidly, possibly drawing in other regional and world powers including the United States.

Hezbollah said it had acted in retaliation for an earlier Israeli attack killing one of its fighters. The group published what appeared to be a satellite photo, with the location of the strike symbolized by a flash with a red circle around it that sat halfway between Acre and Nahariyya to the north.

In response, the Israeli military said fighter jets hit military targets in Ayta ash Shab and Blida and in the area of Markaba in southern Lebanon.

Earlier on Tuesday, the military said Israeli airstrikes killed two Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah later confirmed the death of one of its fighters, Hussein Azkoul, but provided no further details.

A separate Israeli strike overnight Monday to Tuesday killed a fighter in Hezbollah's elite unit, Radwan Forces, the military said, though Hezbollah has not confirmed his death.

Since October, Israeli strikes have killed about 270 Hezbollah fighters as well as about 50 civilians. Hezbollah's rocket and drone fire has killed about a dozen Israeli soldiers and half as many civilians. The shelling has displaced tens of thousands on each side.

(Reporting by Jana Choukeir in Dubai and Maayan Lubell and James Mackenzie in Jerusalem; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, William Maclean and Alex Richardson)