Israeli strike kills senior commander of Hezbollah’s Radwan Force
Wissam Tawil played a "leading role in managing operations in the south", a security official told AFP.
The commander was killed when his car was targeted by Israel in the southern Lebanese town of Khirbet Salem, around 15 kilometers from the Lebanese-Israeli border.
The Radwan Force is a special unit of Hezbollah trained to conduct raids into northern Israel if the war expands.
Over the last two months, Israel has called on Hezbollah to withdraw the Radwan Forces from south of the Litani River, which is about 30 kilometers from the border. It has threatened to forcibly remove Hezbollah fighters from the area if diplomatic negotiations fail.
Hezbollah, in turn, has said it will not negotiate with Israel on the presence of its forces south of the Litani until Israel's military operation in Gaza stops, despite diplomatic pressure on the group to enter into discussions.
The strike is the latest escalatory measure between the two countries, following an Israeli strike on 2 January in Beirut which killed top Hamas official Salah al-Arouri.
Hezbollah has since responded by targeting an Israeli radar base, which the group said was critical to Israel's ability to conduct aerial surveillance and raids in Lebanon.
Hezbollah has promised further retaliatory measures for the strike on Beirut, but analysts say the group has signaled they do not want a full-scale war with Israel.