The Israeli Defence Ministry on Friday ordered the mandatory evacuation of the northern Kiryat Shmona town near the Lebanon border.

Kiryat Shmona is home to 23,000 residents, Ministry spokesperson Mayan Lazarovich told CNN, adding that the this was a “mandatory evacuation”.

The residents will be relocated to state-subsidized guesthouses and the evacuation will be led by the local municipality alongside the Ministries of Tourism and Defence, according to the Ministry. 

The order was approved by Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and was communicated to the town's mayor a "short time ago", the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement on X.

On Monday, the IDF announced that it was implementing an emergency plan to evacuate all civilians living up to 2 km from the Lebanese border and would put them up in state-funded guest houses, the BBC reported.

Kiryat Shmona was not on the list at the time but falls within the radius.

The town has been hit by rocket fire in recent days amid clashes between armed fighters from the Lebanese Hezbollah group and the Israeli military.