Hezbollah targets Israel base to avenge killings in Lebanon

Hezbollah targets Israel base to avenge killings in Lebanon
Hezbollah said it had targeted the 'enemy's northern command centre' near the city of Safed with 'several suicide drones'.
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Hezbollah field commander Wissam Tawil was killed by Israel on Monday [MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty]

Lebanon's Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah said it targeted an Israeli command base on Tuesday in retaliation for the killings of one of its commanders and a senior Hamas leader.

Hezbollah and its arch-foe Israel have been exchanging near-daily fire across the border since the Gaza war broke out on 7 October.

The Shia Muslim movement, an ally of Sunni Hamas, said it had targeted the "enemy's northern command centre" in the city of Safed with "several suicide drones".

It said the attack was part of its response to the killings of Hamas deputy political leader Saleh al-Arouri on 2 January and of Hezbollah field commander Wissam Tawil on Monday.

The Israeli army confirmed that a "hostile aircraft" had come down at one of its bases in the north and said that "no injuries or damage were reported".

On Saturday, Hezbollah said it had fired more than 60 rockets at an Israeli military base, also in response to al-Arouri's killing in Beirut which was widely viewed as an attack carried out by Israel.

Hezbollah number two Naim Qassem in a speech Tuesday warned that Israel's wave of targeted killings "cannot lead to a phase of retreat but rather to a push forward for the resistance".

He described Tawil as a member of Hezbollah's elite al-Radwan Brigade who had fought on several fronts.


Tawil, a top Hezbollah commander, was buried in his south Lebanon village of Khirbit Silm on Tuesday.

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He was the highest-ranking Hezbollah member to be killed since 7 October.

Hundreds of Hezbollah supporters attended his funeral procession, the group's yellow flag draped over his coffin.

Shortly before the procession began, Israel struck a car parked in the village, according to Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA) and eyewitnesses.

It was unclear who the target of the strike was and whether there were casualties.

Hezbollah said Tawil was involved in the abduction of Israeli soldiers which triggered the group's last war with Israel in 2006 as well as high-calibre operations in Syria.

He had also "directed numerous operations" against Israeli forces since the Gaza war began, Hezbollah said.

On Tuesday morning, an Israeli strike targeted a car in the south Lebanon village of Ghandouria, NNA said.

The strike left "three Hezbollah fighters dead" a security source told AFP, requesting anonymity because of security concerns.

Hezbollah later on Tuesday announced three of its fighters had been killed.

The three months of cross-border fighting have killed 185 people in Lebanon, including over 139 Hezbollah fighters, but also more than 20 civilians including three journalists, according to an AFP tally.

In northern Israel, nine soldiers and at least four civilians have been killed, according to Israeli authorities.