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An Israeli fighter jet flying of the Gazan city of Rafah, Palestine in February. Alamy Stock Photo
Kunin

Israeli strike kills 'senior Hezbollah commander' in Lebanon as cross-border fighting ramps up

The strike came two days after the Israeli military said they had killed the deputy head of Hezbollah’s rocket unit in a strike on southern Lebanon.

LAST UPDATE | 31 Mar

A SENIOR HEZBOLLAH commander has been “eliminated” by an Israeli airstrike in Lebanon, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has said.

The Israeli Air Force “struck a vehicle in the area of Kunin in Lebanon in which Ismail al-Zin was located,” the IDF said.

“Al-Zin was a significant commander in the Anti-Tank Missile Unit of Hezbollah’s Radwan Forces.”

Hezbollah, the political and military group founded in response to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, has a powerful arsenal of rockets and missiles and has been exchanging regular fire with Israeli forces since Hamas attacked southern Israel in October last year.

Hezbollah says it is targeting Israel in support of its ally Hamas.

The fighting has been low in intensity for much of the last six months but violence has been escalating in recent weeks.

Earlier this morning, a Lebanese military source said an Israeli drone strike killed a person in a car in Kunin, without saying if that individual was a civilian or a fighter.

The village of Kunin is about 10 kilometres from the Lebanon-Israel border.

The strike came two days after the Israeli military said they had killed the deputy head of Hezbollah’s rocket unit in a strike on southern Lebanon.

Friday’s strike in the town of Bazuriyeh killed Ali Abdel Hassan Naim, who the IDF said was “one of the leaders for heavy-warhead rocket fire and responsible for conducting and planning attacks against Israeli civilians”.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant later toured the army’s northern command and said the military would keep up its operations against Hezbollah.

“We will make them pay a price for every attack that comes out from Lebanon,” he said.

Also on Friday seven Hezbollah fighters were killed by an Israeli strike in Syria, according to a war monitor based in the UK.

Israel did not comment on that report, but at the northern command Gallant added: “We have turned from the ones who are repelling Hezbollah to the ones who are chasing them. We reach all the places that Hezbollah is present.”

Cross-border fire since October has killed at least 348 people in Lebanon, mostly Hezbollah fighters, and at least 68 civilians, according to a tally by the AFP news agency. Lebanon was already experiencing multiple crises before the conflict broke out. 

Yesterday, four people on a UN peacekeeping patrol were wounded by an explosion and Irish soldiers were among the first responders as they are stationed along the Lebanon-Israel border serving with a UN mission there. 

Investigations are ongoing into the source of the ordnance but the IDF denied responsibility. 

The fighting has displaced tens of thousands in southern Lebanon and in northern Israel, where the military says 10 soldiers and eight civilians have been killed.

Includes reporting from AFP

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