After killing a commander, Hezbollah attacks Israel


Lerato Khumalo

Not a day goes by without mutual gunfire in the border area between Israel and Lebanon. The situation is escalating again from time to time. But there is some hope in another conflict.

The Lebanese Hezbollah says it has fired more than 200 rockets and 20 drones at Israel in response to the killing of a high-ranking commander. An Israeli reservist with the rank of major was killed, the Israeli armed forces said.

According to the Israeli military, the Hezbollah commander who was killed earlier was in charge of a department that was responsible for firing rockets at Israel.

Hezbollah, which is supported by Iran, will not stop attacking Israel until there is a ceasefire in the Gaza war. Hezbollah says it is acting out of solidarity with the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas. The “Lebanon Front” is a “support front,” as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah always emphasizes.

The Gaza war was triggered by the massacres and hostage-taking by Palestinian terrorist organizations such as Hamas in Israel on October 7.

Circles: Movement in ceasefire negotiations

The tough negotiations on a ceasefire in the Gaza war and on an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are gaining momentum again.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the deployment of a negotiating team for further talks with the Islamist Hamas. This could give a new boost to the currently stalled indirect negotiations on a ceasefire in the Gaza war and on an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, Israeli Kan radio reported, citing government officials.

Israel had previously stated that it would examine a proposal from Hamas. The mediating states of the USA, Qatar and Egypt had presented a draft from Hamas to the Israeli negotiating team, Netanyahu’s office said.

Hamas also announced that it was exchanging “some ideas” with the mediators to bring about an end to the war. The content of the Hamas proposal is not yet known. It is also unclear to what extent it deviates from the plan last discussed.

So far, an agreement has failed mainly because Hamas is demanding a complete end to the Gaza war and an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Israel rejects this and speaks of a temporary ceasefire for the exchange of hostages for prisoners and the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated in a telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden that he would remain committed to the war aims. The military conflict will not end until Israel has achieved all of its goals, including the destruction of Hamas and the release of all hostages, Netanyahu said, according to information from the Israeli government office.

There are believed to be 120 hostages left in the cordoned-off coastal strip, but many of them are probably no longer alive.

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Numerous Israeli hostages are still being held in the Gaza Strip by the militant Hamas group. (Archive photo) (Source: Ohad Zwigenberg/AP/dpa/dpa-bilder)

Sirens wailed in northern Israel. Israel’s army said it had identified around 200 missiles and more than 20 drones that had flown into Israeli territory. In return, the military is attacking the launch sites in Lebanon.

According to Hezbollah, these were retaliatory attacks for the killing of one of its high-ranking commanders. High-ranking Hezbollah official Hashim Safieddine said at the funeral of the slain Shiite militia commander that the retaliatory attacks had begun on Wednesday evening and were not over yet. The front in Lebanon remains strong and will only get stronger.

The Lebanese news agency NNA also reported that one person was killed in an Israeli attack in Houla in southern Lebanon. A woman was also injured in another attack, according to NNA.

Hezbollah confirmed the death of one of its members. The man was reportedly from Houla. The militia did not provide any details on how, where and when the fighter died. Israel’s army announced that it had attacked “Hezbollah military buildings” from the air, including in Houla.