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Lebanon-Israel border

Israeli strike kills senior Hezbollah commander in Lebanon

Exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israeli forces have intensified over recent days.

AN ISRAELI STRIKE on southern Lebanon killed a senior Hezbollah commander yesterday, the militant group said.

It named the commander as Sami Abdallah, also known as Abu Taleb, born in 1969, in a statement reporting his death.

A Lebanese military source said the commander was “the most important in Hezbollah to be killed up to now since the start of the war” between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza, which has fuelled violence on the Lebanon-Israel border.

The source said the strike hit the town of Jouaiyya, 15 kilometres from the Israeli border, and also killed three other people.

Hezbollah later announced the death of a second fighter, with a source close to the Shiite Muslim movement identifying him as Mohammad Hussein Sabra, also known as Baqer.

Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, has traded near-daily fire with Israeli forces since the Gaza war began, triggered by Hamas’s 7 October attack.

Exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israeli forces have intensified over recent days, causing multiple brush fires on both sides of the border.

Without commenting directly on Tuesday’s strike, the Israeli military said it hit a series of Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon after a barrage of “50 launches” by Hezbollah into the Golan Heights on Tuesday morning.

More than eight months of cross-border violence has killed at least 467 people in Lebanon, including almost 90 civilians and at least 304 Hezbollah fighters, according to an AFP count.

Israeli authorities say at least 15 Israeli soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed in the fighting.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was “prepared for a very intense operation” along the border with Lebanon and that “one way or another, we will restore security to the north”.

- © AFP 2024