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Friday, May 24, 2024

Another Hezbollah commander killed in Israeli attack

Tawil and another Hezbollah fighter were killed when their car was struck in the village of Majdal Selm, approximately 6 km from the border.

On Monday, Israel conducted a strike in south Lebanon, resulting in the death of a high-ranking Hezbollah commander, Wissam Tawil. This strike dealt a significant blow after three months of tensions at the Lebanese-Israeli border. Tawil, a commander of Hezbollah’s elite Radwan forces, played a crucial role in directing the group’s operations in the south. The conflict, ignited by Hamas attacking Israel from Gaza on October 7, has become the deadliest confrontation between Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah since their 2006 war.

More than 130 Hezbollah fighters, including Radwan members, have been killed in the hostilities. The fighting has involved Hezbollah launching guided rockets and other weapons at Israeli positions, while Israel responded with air and artillery strikes. Tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border have fled, raising concerns about a broader conflict.

Tawil and another Hezbollah fighter were killed when their car was struck in the village of Majdal Selm, approximately 6 km from the border. Hezbollah circulated photos of Tawil with leaders of the group, including Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and the late military commander Imad Mughniyeh. The conflict has also seen Israel targeting Hezbollah positions in Lebanon.

Hezbollah, an Iran-backed group with significant military and political power in Lebanon, is designated as a terrorist organization by Israel, the UK, and other Western powers. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not comment on foreign media reports about Tawil’s death but acknowledged striking areas in Lebanese territory in response to an anti-tank missile launched toward an Israeli town.

Blinken in the Middle East

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, while visiting the Middle East, acknowledged the current heightened tension in the region, stating, “This is a conflict that could easily metastasize, causing even more insecurity and even more suffering.” Blinken expressed the importance of avoiding further escalation, emphasizing that it is not in the interest of Israel, Lebanon, or Hezbollah.

In response to Tawil’s killing, Blinken stressed the need for a diplomatic resolution, conveying Israel’s desire for a secure environment allowing its citizens to return home. Approximately 100,000 Israelis have evacuated their homes in northern Israel due to the Hezbollah threat. The US is actively engaged in seeking a diplomatic solution to facilitate the return of Lebanese citizens to their homes in southern Lebanon.

More to read: Bombardment continues as Israel tries to shift focus from Gaza

Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, affirmed that while Israel is not seeking war with Hezbollah, it is prepared to take military action if necessary. He mentioned the possibility of applying similar military tactics used in Gaza to Beirut, emphasizing the priority of ensuring the safe return of displaced individuals. Gallant stated that if no negotiated agreement facilitates this, Israel is prepared to take military measures, underscoring their willingness to make sacrifices for the cause.