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Senior Hezbollah commander eliminated in IDF drone strike on Monday

Qassem Saqlawi was the head of Hezbollah's rocket and missile unit

Qassem Saqlawi, head of Hezbollah rocket and missile unit. (Photo: Hezbollah media office)

A senior Hezbollah commander was eliminated on Monday in an IDF drone strike, the Israeli military announced on Tuesday.

Qassem Saqlawi was the head of the Hezbollah terrorist organization's rocket and missile unit for its coastal division. He was reportedly eliminated when an Israeli drone struck his car while he drove in the region surrounding Tyre in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah confirmed the death of Saqlawi, confirming that he lost his life “on the road to Jerusalem,” a common expression used by the terror group members for those who are killed by Israeli military forces.

Israel Defense Forces stated that Saqlawi had played a prominent role in carrying out “many” missile and rocket attacks targeting northern Israel during the ongoing war on the Israel-Lebanon border. In response, Hezbollah fired rockets against Israeli border communities such as Even Menachem, Shtula, Shomera and Netua.

On Oct. 8, one day after the Hamas terrorist organization's surprise invasion and brutal attack on southern Israel, Hezbollah launched rockets and missiles at Israel, declaring the action as a show of solidarity with Gaza.

Hezbollah forces in Lebanon have launched many drone and missile attacks targeting Israel's north on an almost daily basis for the past seven months. The Israeli military has responded by targeting Hezbollah forces.

Approximately 300 of Hezbollah's operatives have been killed in the conflict, according to a statement by the terrorist group. The IDF claims the true number of fatalities is significantly higher.

Several dozen Israeli civilians and soldiers have been killed by Hezbollah during the same period.

Saqlawi is the most recent of some 30 senior Hezbollah commanders that Israel has eliminated since early October. In March, the IDF targeted and killed Ismail al-Zain, a senior commander in Hezbollah’s elite Radwan commando unit.

Earlier in May, the Israeli military eliminated Hussain Ibrahim Makki, a top Hezbollah commander in the militia’s southern front. Makki reportedly played a central role in directing Hezbollah’s attacks against military and civilian targets in northern Israel.

The conflict between Israel and Iran's terror proxy in Lebanon has left about 80,000 residents of northern Israel displaced from their homes and several hundred thousand Lebanese citizens evacuated from their homes in southern Lebanon.

Residents of Israel's north have demanded that the government take action to remove the Hezbollah threat so they can return to their homes.

In a December report, the Alma Research and Education Center, an NGO focusing on security on Israel’s northern border, warned that Hezbollah’s Radwan forces were prepared to invade communities in northern Israel.

The international community, mainly the United States and France, has tried to find a diplomatic solution to the escalating war between Hezbollah and Israel. Some pundits suggest that the border conflict could be diffused if Hezbollah withdraws its forces north of the Litani River, located some 18 miles from the border between Lebanon and Israel. However, the Lebanese terror group has so far refused and continues shelling northern Israel.

Israeli leaders have indicated they prefer a diplomatic solution to the conflict but have also emphasized that they are ready to remove Hezbollah by force if there is no other option.

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

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