Hezbollah launches deepest attack into Israel since outbreak of Gaza war

Lebanese armed group said the drone assaults were in response to killing of fighter earlier in the day

People gather at the site of an Israeli strike on a car near Tyre, Lebanon, on Tuesday, in which a Hezbollah operative was killed. AFP
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Hezbollah said on Tuesday it had launched drone attacks on two Israeli military bases north of the city of Acre - its deepest attack since hostilities broke out on October 8.

The Iran-backed Lebanese armed group said it launched a combined aerial assault on the headquarters of the Golani Brigade and the Egos Unit 621, in response to an Israeli attack.

Israel killed two civilians – a woman and her niece – and injured six others in a strike that destroyed a house in the southern Lebanese village of Hanine, Lebanon's state news agency said.

Earlier on Tuesday Israel claimed it killed two senior members of Hezbollah, including a figure in the group's elite Radwan force.

The Israeli military denied any of its sites were hit by Hezbollah, but had said earlier on Tuesday that it intercepted two "aerial targets" off Israel's northern coast.

Israeli forces released footage of a drone bombing a car on Tuesday morning to the north of the southern Lebanese city of Tyre, the first time this area has been attacked since hostilities broke out on October 8.

The victim was Hussein Ali Azkoul, who Israeli forces said was an operative in Hezbollah's aerial defence unit in southern Lebanon.

In a separate attack, Israel said they had killed Mohammad Khalil Atieh, a “significant” member of the Radwan force's aerial unit. Both men were accused of serious involvement in attacks on Israel.

Hezbollah confirmed the two deaths, without alluding to their seniority.

About 300 Hezbollah fighters have been killed since hostilities began.

Wissam Tawil, a top commander in the Radwan forces, was the most senior Hezbollah figure to be killed in the fighting when his car was attacked in January.

The Radwan force is Hezbollah's secretive special operations unit and is named after its former military commander Imad Mughniyeh, otherwise known as Hajj Radwan.

Since October 8, Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged in daily cross-border exchanges of fire in south Lebanon. The attacks have gradually increased in intensity and scope, leading to fears of an all-out war between the two sides.

Hezbollah says it is carrying out its attacks in support of its embattled Palestinian ally Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The Shiite Lebanese armed group and political party says it will not cease hostilities until Israel ends its brutal campaign, which has led to the death of about 34,200 Palestinians.

Updated: April 23, 2024, 5:19 PM