Fighting intensified in southern Lebanon this week after two Israeli soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb.
Three other soldiers were wounded by gunfire in a separate incident on Monday, triggering retaliatory attacks by the Israel Defense Force against strongholds of the Iranian-backed fundamentalist Hezbollah movement.
Sgt. Maj. Sabih Abu Hamed, 43, and Sgt. Yaniv Sasson, 20, were heading an IDF force that was opening a patrol road in the central region of the security zone in southern Lebanon, when a roadside bomb exploded, killing the two instantly.
Three other soldiers of the Golani Brigade were wounded in the incident, and were evacuated to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. Their condition was reported as stable.
Hamed, a father of 10 from the Bedouin village of Oozer, served as an IDF officer for a decade and was scheduled to retire in December.
Sasson was from Ramat Gan.
In an unrelated incident, three soldiers were injured when their tank was shot at in the western region of the security zone in southern Lebanon. The shooting came from outside the security zone. One was lightly wounded and the two others moderately injured. All are said to be in stable condition.
Hezbollah took responsibility for both incidents. The IDF targeted Hezbollah strongholds throughout the day, and a heavy exchange of fire was reported from the region.