Lebanon: Hezbollah rejects Israel’s boast about slain commanders

Hezbollah has rejected Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant’s boast that Israel has killed half of its commanders in southern Lebanon, denouncing it as “ridiculous”.

Gallant made his claim while announcing the IDF’s planned “offensive action” in response to a recent assault by Hezbollah on the coastal city of Acre, according to The National and agencies on April 24.

In addition, Gallant added that, “Half of the Hezbollah commanders in south Lebanon have been eliminated…and half of them are in hiding and [have] abandoned south Lebanon to Israeli military operations”.

Hezbollah dismissed Gallant’s speech, as “ridiculous words that aim to uplift the morale of the Israeli soldiers who received painful blows in the Arab Al Aramshe and north of Acre.”

The Iranian-backed group added: “Our martyrs are known and we are mourning them publicly in front of our people. We do not hide their names, as the enemy does to hide its real losses before public opinion and before the world. Therefore, this statement is completely worthless.”

Despite the near-daily border clashes since October 8, violence in recent weeks has intensified further.

This comes against a backdrop of increased escalation in the region, with Iran’s unprecedented attack against Israel on April 13.

An assault by Hezbollah on Arab Al Aramshe, a Bedouin community on the Israelis side of the frontier, also marked a significant escalation. With 13 Israeli soldiers wounded and one killed on April 17, this makes it the group’s deadliest attack for Israel since the outbreak of the border war.

READ: Tensions mount after Hezbollah strike injures 18 Israelis

Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s strike on Acre on April 23 raises deep concerns about the conflict spreading beyond the border area.

The previous day, April 22, saw Hezbollah launch 35 rockets into Israel, allegedly against Israeli headquarters.

Meanwhile, Israel has previously carried out military attacks deep into Lebanese territory, in the northern regions of Baalbek and Hermel.

On April 24, the IDF confirmed it had struck 40 Hezbollah targets as “part of the effort to destroy the organisation’s infrastructure in the border area”.

Israel claims to have taken out key figures of Hezbollah through drone strikes, including a field leader, two members of the specialised Radwan unit, and a member of Hezbollah’s air defence division.

READ: Israel’s latest strikes in Lebanon kill Hezbollah commander

The majority of the 380 reported deaths on the Lebanese side of the border have been Hezbollah fighters.

However, 72 civilians have also been killed in the conflict.

And while Israel typically keeps casualty figures classified, it has reported the loss of 11 soldiers and eight civilians to date.


The National / Agencies




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