Hezbollah launches massive attack on Israel

The Lebanese militant group fired over 200 rockets and drones targeting military positions in response to the killing of a top commander

Lebanese militant group Hezbollah claims to have launched more than 200 rockets and drones targeting Israeli military positions on Thursday in response to the killing of a senior commander.

A Hezbollah source told Al Jazeera that Thursday’s barrage, the second major attack in as many days, was retaliation for Israel’s killing of Muhammad Nasser in southern Lebanon a day earlier. His death prompted Hezbollah to launch more than 100 rockets into Israel on Wednesday.

Nasser, also known as Hajj Abu Nimah, was the third high-ranking Hezbollah fighter killed in almost nine months of cross-border fighting sparked by the Israeli war in Gaza.

Reuters cited the Israeli military as giving a similar assessment of the scale of the attack, stating that “200 projectiles and over 20 suspicious aerial targets were identified crossing from Lebanon into Israeli territory,” a number of which were intercepted by Israeli air defenses and fighter jets. No casualties were reported.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Wednesday that the country’s forces were hitting Hezbollah “very hard every day” and will be ready to take any action necessary against the group. However, Israel’s preference is reportedly to reach a negotiated arrangement.

Meanwhile, senior Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine has warned that the group would increase its strikes against Israel.

“The series of responses continues in succession, and this series will continue to target new sites that the enemy did not imagine would be hit,” Safieddine said at an event in Beirut commemorating the killed commander.

The growing tensions between Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah have been causing concern of an escalation into an all-out war in the Middle East.

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Hezbollah outlines terms to end conflict with Israel

According to Reuters, Israeli attacks in Lebanon have killed more than 300 Hezbollah fighters and some 90 civilians. Israel reportedly said that strikes from Lebanon have killed 18 soldiers and 10 civilians.

Hezbollah’s deputy leader Sheikh Naim Kassem told AP this week that the only way to stop the escalation on the Israeli-Lebanese border is for West Jerusalem to end its operation in Gaza. Hezbollah has been claiming to be striking Israel in solidarity with the Palestinian armed group Hamas.

West Jerusalem declared war on Hamas after the militant group launched a surprise attack in the south of the country last October, leaving more than 1,200 people dead and taking over 200 hostages. The Gaza campaign has inflicted widespread destruction on the Palestinian enclave, leaving more than 37,000 Palestinians dead and over 86,000 injured, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

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