Hezbollah member injured by air strike in latest Israeli assassination attempt

Several officials from Lebanese and Palestinian armed groups have narrowly escaped death in past week

People gather near a car hit by a drone attack in Bint Jbeil near the border with Israel on Monday. AFP
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A Hezbollah official was seriously injured in an Israeli air strike on Monday that targeted a car in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil.

The attack was the third failed assassination attempt by Israel in the past week, as the conflict on Israeli frontier threatens to spill into the rest of Lebanon.

The man was identified as the Hezbollah official for the town of Maroun Al Ras, Mohamad Abdl Al Rassoul Alawieh. He was taken to a nearby hospital by and is undergoing surgery, a Hezbollah source said.

Photos of the damaged car were circulated on social media, showing a puncture in the vehicle’s roof, where the strike hit.

Separately, at least two people were killed on Monday in an Israeli air strike on a house in the southern town of Tayr Harfa, a Lebanese security official confirmed to The National. Hezbollah announced the death of two members, Mohammad Bassam and Ali Muhanna, shortly after the incident.

Israel and the Lebanese Hezbollah group have exchanged daily cross-border fire since October 8, when militants announced their support for long-time ally Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has intensified attacks on southern Lebanon in recent weeks, threatening to expand the conflict and drag the country into a full-scale war. It has taken to conducting more and more targeted assassinations deep into Lebanese territory, including in Beirut.

Israel has attempted to kill several officials from Lebanese and Palestinian armed groups in recent days.

On Saturday, senior Hamas officer Bassel Saleh survived an assassination attempt in Jadra, about 60km from the Lebanon-Israel border. The strike on his car killed two bystanders.

On Thursday, an Israeli drone strike seriously wounded a Hezbollah commander in the southern city of Nabatieh. The group later responded by firing a barrage of rockets into northern Israel.

The conflict on the Lebanon-Israel border has killed at least 231 people in Lebanon, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also at least 30 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

On the Israeli side, nine soldiers and six civilians have been killed, the Israeli army says – although the number could be much higher, as it does not typically release updated casualty figures.

Updated: February 12, 2024, 4:21 PM