Hezbollah launches rocket bombardment after commander killed in Israeli attack

As sirens sounded in northern Israel on Wednesday, Israeli Army Radio reported that around 150 rockets had been fired from Lebanon in an apparent response to the Israeli attack. Hezbollah has claimed attacks on a number of military bases, including Mount Meron, an area that hosts a military radar station about five miles south of the border. Hezbollah also claimed to have struck an arms factory belonging to Plasan, a company that makes armored vehicles used by the Israeli army.

The army said in a statement that several rockets were intercepted, but that several hit the ground and started fires, which firefighters were working to put out. He said he responded Wednesday by striking a series of launch sites across the border. Lebanon's state news agency reported heavy Israeli airstrikes and shelling in the south of the country.

The fires came a week after another Hezbollah rocket attack sparked fires that prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to threaten “very intense action” along the Lebanese border.

During a visit to Qatar as part of a broader Middle East trip, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said he believed neither side would welcome a broader war. Blinken said that “it is safe to say that no one is actually working to start a war or cause an escalation” and that “there is a strong preference for a diplomatic solution.”

He added that the best way to calm tensions along the Lebanon-Israel border would be a ceasefire in Gaza, which he said would “take a huge amount of pressure off the system” and remove Hezbollah's stated justification for attacking Israel.

The Israeli military said in a statement that it struck a Hezbollah command and control center, killing Mr. Abdallah and three other Hezbollah fighters. He called Abdallah one of Hezbollah's top commanders in southern Lebanon.

Israel has targeted Hezbollah commanders with the aim of pushing the group north of the Litani River into Lebanon, hoping to prevent cross-border attacks and eventually allow tens of thousands of Israeli civilians displaced by the fighting to return to their homes. homes. Some experts have expressed skepticism that targeted killings can achieve this goal.

The Lebanese government said about 100,000 people on its side of the border had been displaced.

Rawan Sheikh Ahmad, Hwaida Saad AND Michael Crowley contributed to the reporting.

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