AVIVIM, Israel, July 27—More than 100 Hezbollah fighters staged a fierce ambush on Israeli ground forces entering the Lebanese border town of Bint Jbeil before dawn Wednesday, killing at least eight soldiers and wounding 22 with gunfire, mortars and antitank missiles.
Later Wednesday, another Israeli soldier was killed near the Lebanese town of Maroun al-Ras.
It was the bloodiest day for Israeli troops in southern Lebanon since clashes there began two weeks ago. “We walked into a wasp’s nest and we knew it would be a wasp’s nest,” said Maj. Zvika Golan, a spokesman for the Israeli army’s Northern Command. By his account, all of the ambushed soldiers were on foot because the roads into the town were littered with antitank mines.
The fighting passed two other milestones of intensity Wednesday: One hundred and fifty-one missiles were fired from southern Lebanon into Israel, the most in a day in the current conflict; and 24 Palestinians were killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip, the highest number since Israeli settlers and forces were pulled out of the strip last year.