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Israel kills senior Hezbollah commander in Lebanon

June 12, 2024 at 10:51 am

People attend the funeral of Hezbollah commander Wissam al-Tawil who was killed in Israeli airstrike in Nabatieh, Lebanon on January 09, 2024 [Houssam Shbaro – Anadolu Agency]

Lebanon’s Hezbollah fired barrages of rockets at Israel on Wednesday in retaliation for an Israeli strike which killed a senior field commander in the movement, Reuters has reported. Hezbollah and Israel have been trading fire since the eruption of the Gaza war in October, in steadily intensifying hostilities that have fuelled concern about a larger confrontation between the adversaries.

The Israeli strike in the south Lebanon village of Jouaiyya late on Tuesday killed three Hezbollah fighters alongside a senior field commander identified by the movement as Taleb Abdallah, also known as Abu Taleb, said three security sources. He was the most senior Hezbollah commander killed during eight months of hostilities, one of them pointed out.

The sources added that he was Hezbollah’s commander for the central region of the southern border strip. His funeral is due to be held later on Wednesday. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

A security source in Lebanon said Hezbollah had fired more than 100 rockets in response, saying it was one of the group’s biggest rocket barrages since the latest round of hostilities began. Hezbollah declared at least four attacks in response to what it called the assassination by Israel in Jouaiyya, including one in which Hezbollah fighters fired guided missiles at an Israeli military factory.

The group also said that it had attacked Israeli military headquarters in Ein Zeitim and Ami’ad, and an Israeli military air surveillance station in Meron, in each case firing dozens of Katyusha rockets.

Sirens sounded in northern Israel, where the Israeli military said that Hezbollah had fired a barrage of around 50 rockets from southern Lebanon into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The occupation state added that around 90 projectiles were identified crossing from Lebanon, a number of which were intercepted while others fell in several locations in northern Israel, causing fires in a number of areas. It was not clear if the two Israeli statements were referring to separate launches.

Abdallah was senior to Wissam Tawil, a high-level Hezbollah commander killed in an Israeli strike in January, said the sources in Lebanon, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The security sources said that the four Hezbollah members were likely targeted during a meeting.

Israeli strikes have killed some 300 Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon, more than the movement lost in 2006, when the sides last fought a major war, according to a Reuters tally which puts the number of civilians killed at around 80. Attacks from Lebanon have killed 18 Israeli soldiers and 10 civilians, says Israel.

The Israeli military claims that it has killed more than 320 Hezbollah members, including at least 100 targeted after field operatives gathered “precise high-quality intelligence” on them.

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