Hezbollah rains rockets on key bases in north Israel after Jwaya attack


Hezbollah on Wednesday said it fired dozens of rockets and shells at a military factory in Israel's Sa'sa', the Israeli army's northern headquarters in Ein Zeitim near Safad, a command center in Ami'ad near Tiberias, the Meron air control base near Lebanon's border, and the Zar'it barracks.

It said the major attack was in response to an overnight Israeli airstrike on the Tyre district town of Jwaya that killed senior Hezbollah commander Taleb Abdallah and three other fighters.

The Israeli army said more than 150 "projectiles" had been fired from Lebanon in three successive barrages.

"A short while ago, approximately 90 projectiles were identified crossing from Lebanon," it said, adding that several were intercepted but others struck inside Israel sparking fires in parts of the north.

The initial barrage was followed by a second of around 70 projectiles and a third of around 10, the military added.

- 'Knight of the resistance' -

The Israeli army said that in response it struck a rocket launcher in south Lebanon and "four terrorist infrastructure sites... from which projectiles were fired at northern Israel."

Israel's Magen David Adom emergency medical service said there were no immediate reports of any casualties.

"Israel Fire and Rescue Services are currently operating to extinguish the fires that broke out as a result of the launches," the military said.

Hezbollah also targeted Wednesday several posts in the occupied Shebaa Farms and Kfarshouba Heights, and other posts in north Israel.

Israeli artillery meanwhile shelled, including with white phosphorus, the southern town of al-Odaisseh while warplanes struck the outskirts of Yater, Zibqine and Wadi Omar.

Hezbollah has traded near-daily cross-border fire with the Israeli army since its Palestinian ally Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7, triggering war in Gaza.

As temperatures have soared in recent days, the exchanges of fire have sparked multiple brush fires on both sides of the border.

A Lebanese military source said the slain Hezbollah commander was "the most important in Hezbollah to be killed up to now since the start of the war."

The group called on its supporters to attend Abdallah's funeral in the southern suburbs of Beirut, describing him as "one of the knights of the resistance."

Hezbollah media channels published a photograph of Abdallah next to Wissam Tawil, another senior commander killed in an Israeli air strike in January.

- ''Harsh blow' -

Pro-Hezbollah newspaper al-Akhbar described the strike that killed Abdallah as "a harsh blow" to the group.

His killing "represents a... dangerous escalation on behalf of the enemy" raising "expectations that the confrontation will be managed differently," the paper said.

A Hezbollah official told The Associated Press that Abdallah was in charge of a large part of the Lebanon-Israel front, including the area facing the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona, which Hezbollah has repeatedly attacked in recent days, causing fires in the area.

The official, who was not authorized to speak to media and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Abdallah had joined Hezbollah decades ago and took part in attacks against Israeli forces during their 18-year occupation of southern Lebanon that ended in May 2000.

The Israeli army confirmed later on Wednesday that it had "eliminated" Abdallah in a strike on a "Hezbollah command center" in southern Lebanon.

In a statement it called Abdallah "one of Hezbollah's most senior commanders in southern Lebanon" and said he had "planned, advanced, and carried out a large number of terror attacks against Israeli civilians."

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