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Hezbollah senior commander killed in targeted strike; Netanyahu warns terror group is 'making mistake’

Strike follows Hezbollah attack on IDF base yesterday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits troops on the northern, Jan. 8, 2024 (Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Economy Minister Nir Barkat visited Israel's northern border near Lebanon on Monday, where they observed IDF operations and spoke with soldiers. 

769th Brigade Commander Avraham Marciano briefed the prime minister on the operations of the 92nd Division over the past three months in the north. Netanyahu also spoke with current and reserve battalion and company commanders, many of whom have been on the front line since Hamas invaded and attacked Israel on Oct. 7. 

Netanyahu and Barkat also visited the 769th Brigade command center where they were briefed on the situation and observed command center functions in wartime. 

The top Israeli leaders' visit came one day after Hezbollah struck Mount Meron Air Force base and attempted to “blind” Israel’s ability to monitor the northern front. 

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said that while the base sustained some damage from the attack, “the unit is still operating and has been reinforced with additional systems.” 

Netanyahu and Barkat met with a group of soldiers living in the north whose families had been evacuated to other areas due to the ongoing threats at the border between the IDF and the Hezbollah forces.

Hezbollah terrorists launched an anti-tank missile toward Kiryat Shmona during that visit.

“I chose to come to Kiryat Shmona on a day when we are being fired on with anti-tank rockets," Netanyahu told the soldiers. "I greatly appreciate the service that you and your friends are doing here to defend our northern border and also to send a message to Hezbollah.”

“Hezbollah made a big mistake with us in 2006 and it is also doing so now,” Netanyahu said, referring to the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

“We will do everything to restore security to the north and allow your families – because many of you are from here – to return home in safety,” the prime minister told the soldiers.

“We will do whatever is necessary. Of course, we prefer that this be done without a wide-ranging campaign, but that will not stop us.” 

In response to the anti-tank missile, the IDF struck several Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon. Sometime later, reports in Arab media announced the death of a senior commander of the Radwan Force, Wissam Hassan al-Tawil, reportedly the brother-in-law of Hezbollah Sec.-Gen. Hassan Nasrallah. 

Wissam Hassan al-Tawil

According to reports in Hebrew media, Tawil was responsible for the attack on Meron yesterday and had traveled to help the Houthis rebels in Yemen. Hezbollah confirmed Tawil's death in an announcement.

Shortly after, Hezbollah attacked Israel’s northern communities with drones and rockets, hitting a house in Shtula and injuring one civilian. The attacks were followed by Israeli strikes on established Hezbollah positions. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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