Hezbollah Fires Missile Barrage at Israel After Commander Death

(Bloomberg) -- Hezbollah said it launched “more than 60 rockets” at Israeli military sites on Thursday in response to an attack that killed one of its senior commanders.

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The Iran-backed militant group targeted air-defense and artillery facilities in the Israeli-occupied area of the Golan Heights, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV reported.

Israel’s military said it detected about 40 missiles launched from Lebanon and intercepted several of them. There were no injuries reported, it said, adding that its fighter jets struck one of the military posts from which the rockets came.

It’s the second straight day that Hezbollah has retaliated against the Israel Defense Forces for the killing a field commander called Hussain Ibrahim Mekky on Tuesday night. Hezbollah described it as an assassination and fired “heavy Burkan” missiles at Israeli military facilities on Wednesday.

Israel and Hezbollah have been exchanging fire almost every day since the Israel-Hamas war broke out in October.

The latest clashes mark some of the most forceful strikes by Hezbollah and are likely to fuel concerns that the skirmishes could escalate into a full-blown conflict and open up a new war front for Israel.

The US, France and others powers are trying to broker a diplomatic deal that would see Hezbollah fighters retreat from the Lebanese border area near Israel. Israeli officials say that’s necessary to ensure around 100,000 people evacuated from northern towns can return home.

The Hezbollah-Israel exchanges have mostly been kept within what each side defines as the implicit rules of engagement — civilians aren’t directly targeted and the areas of attack are close to the Israel-Lebanon border. But exceptions to those rules are becoming more frequent.

Hezbollah, designated a terrorist group by the US, is the most powerful militia in the Middle East and thought by Israeli intelligence to have more than 100,000 rockets and missiles, a much bigger arsenal than what Hamas had before October.

Israel has been targeted by thousands of Hezbollah missiles, drones and artillery shells since Oct. 7 — the date Hamas militants invaded the country. The attacks from Lebanon have killed around 25 Israelis, including soldiers. Roughly 350 people have been killed by Israeli strikes on Lebanon, most of them Hezbollah fighters.

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