Hezbollah says hit Israeli post with dozens of rockets in response to assassination of Hamas leader

Lebanon's Hezbollah movement announced on Saturday that it hit an Israeli observation post with 62 rockets as a "preliminary response" to the recent killing of Hamas's deputy chief Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut.

“At 08:10 AM on Saturday, January 6, 2024, the fighters of the Islamic Resistance targeted the Meron Aerial Surveillance Base with 62 missiles of various types, inflicting direct and confirmed hits,” Hezbollah said in a statement.

The movement described the operation “as a preliminary response” to the Israeli assassination of “great leader Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri and his martyr brothers” in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh.

According to the statement, the base is the sole center for administration, surveillance, and air control in the northern occupied territories.

“It is one of two principal bases in the entire usurping entity, the other being Mitzpe Ramon in the south,” it added.

Earlier, sirens were sounded in northern Israeli cities, warning residents of incoming rockets, media reports said Saturday.

On Friday, the leader of Hezbollah stressed that all of Lebanon will be exposed if the group does not react to the assassination of al-Arouri in Beirut.

Speaking in a televised address for the second time in less than a week, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah reaffirmed that Hezbollah “cannot be silent about a violation of this level”.

“This means that all of Lebanon will become exposed, all cities, villages, and figures will become exposed,” he said on Friday, adding, “The murder of al-Arouri … will certainly not go without reaction and punishment.”

Al-Arouri was killed in an alleged Israeli attack on a southern suburb of Beirut on Tuesday, a stronghold of Hezbollah.

Nasrallah’s comments come as Lebanon filed a complaint to the United Nations Security Council over the assassination of al-Arouri, calling it the “most dangerous phase” of Israeli attacks on the country.

This is not the first time that Nasrallah promised retaliation. He had on Wednesday warned Israel against expanding its war, saying there would be “no ceilings” and “no rules” to his group’s fighting if Israel chose to launch a war on Lebanon.

“Whoever thinks of war with us – in one word, he will regret it,” Nasrallah continued.

Nasrallah added al-Arouri’s killing “will not go unanswered or unpunished”, and that Hezbollah fighters will use the “right place and the right time, and the field will respond”.

“We have full knowledge of where Israeli military positions are,” and the Israelis “aren’t revealing the true number of their casualties, and the destruction of their equipment”, he stressed.

Since October 8, the day after the Israel onslaught against Gaza started, the frontier between Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied territories has seen deadly exchanges of fire, mainly between the Israeli army and the Hezbollah movement.

Reports say Israel has repeatedly used US-supplied internationally-banned white phosphorus munitions in its attacks on Lebanon.

The fighting has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands from the northern part of the Israeli-occupied territories, which have been pummeled by rocket fire and shelling carried out by Hezbollah and allied Palestinian groups.

Nearly 150 Hezbollah fighters have lost their lives since the beginning of the conflict, while some 11 Israeli soldiers have also been killed.

Hezbollah has already fought off two Israeli wars against Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, forcing a humiliating retreat upon the Tel Aviv regime’s military in both cases.

The resistance movement has vowed to resolutely defend Lebanon in case of any Israeli-imposed war.

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