Top Hezbollah commander assassinated in Israeli air raid

A senior commander of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah was assassinated in an Israeli airstrike on southern Lebanon on Monday.

A senior Hezbollah commander killed by Israel has been identified as Wissam al-Tawil, also known as “Jawad”, deputy head of a unit in the elite Radwan force.

A security source speaking to Reuters stated he and another Hezbollah fighter were killed when their car was hit in a strike on the Lebanese village of Majdal Selm.

“This is a very painful strike,” one of the security sources said. Another added, “Things will flare up now.”

The commander played “a leading role in managing Hezbollah’s operations in the south”, a security official told AFP news agency.

The killing further raised fears of the conflict in Gaza spilling over to Lebanon and elsewhere.

Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah has warned Israel in two televised addresses last week not to launch a full-scale war on Lebanon, stressing “Whoever thinks of war with us … will regret it.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Israeli soldiers in northern Israel on Monday where he spoke about the importance of restoring security there after tens of thousand fled because of Hezbollah attacks from southern Lebanon.

“We, of course, prefer that this not be done in a broad campaign, but that will not stop us”, he stressed.

He also stated “they must not mess with us”, most likely referring to the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has been trading fire with Israel since early October when the Israeli regime launched a full-scale military campaign against the Palestinians in Gaza. Hezbollah’s attacks on Israeli targets are aimed at forcing the regime to end the aggression that has left more than 23,000 people dead in Gaza.

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.

Hezbollah has lost nearly 150 fighters in Israeli shelling on southern Lebanon since cross-border bombardment began on October 8.

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.

The group announced on Saturday that it hit an Israeli observation post with 62 rockets as a “preliminary response” to the recent killing of Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri in Lebanon.

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