Israeli strike targets alleged Hamas official in Lebanon

The attack in the town of Jadra was the second deepest strike into Lebanese territory since hostilities began in October

Lebanese soldiers and civil defence workers gather around a destroyed car near the coastal town of Jadra, south Lebanon. AP
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At least two people are believed to have been killed in an Israeli drone strike on south Lebanon on Saturday that allegedly targeted - and injured - a senior Hamas member.

The attack targeted a car in the town of Jadra and was the second deepest attack into Lebanese territory since the eruption of hostilities on Lebanon's border on October 8. Jadra is about 60 kilometres north of the Israel-Lebanon frontier. One of those killed was a member of Lebanese armed group Hezbollah.

Israeli media reported the target to be Basel Saleh, who is said to recruit and manage Hamas operatives including in the occupied West Bank. His exact condition remains unclear.

The strike happened far from the border area where daily clashes between Hezbollah and Israel have been taking place.

In January, Hamas deputy leader Saleh Al Arouri was killed in an Israeli strike on Beirut, the deepest attack into Lebanese territory since October 8.

Hezbollah, supported by Iran and its Lebanon-based allies, says it is carrying out attacks on Israel to alleviate the pressure on Hamas in Gaza.

The attack happened as Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian visited Beirut for talks with senior figures, including Prime Minister Najib Mikati, parliament speaker Nabih Berri, and Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah.

Mr Amirabdollahian also met senior officials of various Palestinian armed factions, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad chief Ziyad Nakhaleh.

"Iran and Lebanon confirm that war is not the solution, and that we absolutely never sought to expand it," Mr Amirabdollahian said after meeting his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib.

Tehran is a strong supporter of Lebanese armed group and political party Hezbollah, which was created in the 1980s with the help of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Since October 8 more than 200 people have been killed in Israeli attacks on Lebanon, the vast majority of them Hezbollah fighters.

Separately, Hezbollah announced it had seized an Israeli Skylark drone over Lebanese air space “in good condition”.

The Skylark is a small, unmanned aerial vehicle typically used for surveillance and produced by Israel-based weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems.

Updated: February 10, 2024, 3:21 PM