Hezbollah, a militant group based in Lebanon, officially announced on Monday that Wissam al-Taweel, one of its top leaders, was killed in the southern region of the country. According to three security sources who spoke to Reuters, al-Taweel and another member were fatally injured in an attack by Israel on their vehicle.
“This is a very painful strike,” one of the sources told Reuters, while another alluded to long-simmering concerns that the ongoing
The conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
There is a possibility that this could lead to another conflict on Israel’s border to the north. The speaker indicated that tensions may intensify in the near future.
The death of al-Taweel was not immediately acknowledged by the Israel Defense Forces.
Frequent clashes occur between Hezbollah fighters and Israeli troops along the Israel-Lebanon border.
The AFP news agency reports that 175 individuals have lost their lives in Lebanon, with 130 of them being members of Hezbollah. In northern Israel, officials state that nine soldiers and four civilians have been killed. As a result of the ongoing conflict, thousands of residents in border towns have been forced to evacuate their homes.
Hezbollah is one of the world’s most heavily armed non-state military forces and, like its ally Hamas, is backed by Iran. The ongoing exchange of fire between Hezbollah militants and the Israeli military has fueled concern for four months that the conflict could develop into a wider war between Israel and Iranian backed groups.
According to Sima Shine, the head of the Iran program at the Institute for National Security Studies, Hezbollah’s capabilities are significantly greater than those of Hamas. Shine believes that while a full-scale war between Israel and Hezbollah is unlikely, if it were to happen, Israel would be facing a much more powerful adversary in the Lebanese group compared to Hamas.
Shine stated that the army is equipped with superior resources compared to the Lebanese army, and they possess significant experience from their involvement in the Syrian conflict.
Last month, a high-ranking member of Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri, died in a blast in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. Six other Hamas militants also lost their lives in the explosion. Al-Arouri helped establish Hamas’ armed division and was being pursued by the Israeli and American authorities.
After the assault, the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, stated that his organization must respond in kind. He expressed that if Hezbollah failed to retaliate, the entire country of Lebanon would be at risk of being targeted by Israel.
On Lebanese television, Nasrallah stated that this crime will not go unpunished.