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A firefighter responds to a fire break out after a Hezbollah rocket attack on Northern Israel on June 13, 2024 in Golan Heights. A series of fires have broken out in the area recently following rocket strikes by Hezbollah, the militant and political group based across Israel’s northern border in Lebanon. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
5:51 PM – Thursday, June 13, 2024

In retaliation for the death of a key commander in the terrorist group by an Israeli attack the previous night, Hezbollah launched over 215 rockets, along with a number of additional missiles and drones, towards northern Israel on Wednesday.

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The barrages were Hezbollah’s largest offensive attack yet, after October 7th, with the ongoing fighting on Lebanon’s border.

In addition, the terrorist group declared that it would now intensify its attacks in retribution for Israel taking down Taleb Abdullah, its top commander. Senior Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine declared during a funeral procession in Beirut that Hezbollah would heighten the volume, vigor, and intensity of its activities against Israel.

“If the enemy is screaming and moaning about what happened to it in northern Palestine, let him prepare himself to cry and wail,” Safieddine said.

According to his office, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conducted a security assessment on Wednesday night “in light of the developments in the north.”

Tens of thousands of Jewish Israelis celebrated the Shavuot holiday on Wednesday morning when the first of several Hezbollah attacks started. The attacks targeted several locations in northern Israel, including Rosh Pina, Safed, and Tiberias, where rockets were fired.

“The Israel Defense Forces said another 70 rockets were then launched at the Mount Meron area, home to a sensitive air traffic control base. Ten more rockets were fired at the northern community of Zar’it, and an anti-tank guided missile struck a factory of the Plasan armored vehicle manufacturer in Kibbutz Sasa, causing damage. Later in the morning, a drone launched from Lebanon detonated in an open area near the northern community of Zivon, local authorities said,” according to The Times of Israel outlet.

In the afternoon, even more rockets were fired into the western and upper Galilee regions. However, the Israeli military said that air defenses still managed to shoot down a large number of the rockets. The attacks did not result in any casualties, although many rocket strikes prompted fires in northern Israel.

The Fire and Rescue Service reported that some 25 firefighting crews and eight aircraft were battling flames close to Beit Jann, in the Ein Zeitim forest, and near Amiad.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the rocket and missile barrage, citing targets that included the Plasan factory, the Amiad camp, which is about 20 kilometers from the border, and the Meron air traffic control facility.

Hezbollah claimed that the strikes were in retaliation for the Israeli strike that killed Abdullah and three other operatives on Tuesday night near Jouaiyya, southern Lebanon, some 15 kilometers (9 miles) north of the Israeli border.

On Wednesday, the IDF did, in fact, acknowledge that it had taken down the four men.

Hezbollah’s Nasr unit, one of the three regional divisions in south Lebanon, was led by Abdullah. This unit, which covers the south Lebanon region between Mount Dov and Bint Jbeil, is regarded as the terrorist group’s first line of assault and defense against Israel.

Abdullah was the “most senior” Hezbollah commander whom the IDF reported to have killed during the conflict.

Hezbollah declared Abdullah dead in a statement, referring to him as a “commander.” Wissam al-Tawil, the deputy leader of the terrorist group’s Radwan unit, was the only other operative mentioned as a commander. He was also killed by Israel in January.

Al-Tawil was regarded as junior to Abdullah.

The IDF said that over the previous eight months, Abdullah was responsible for multiple attacks on northern Israel, primarily targeting the city of Kiryat Shmona as well as other villages and army installations in the Galilee Panhandle, Upper Galilee, and the Golan Heights region.

Just hours before his death, on Tuesday night, while Israelis were celebrating Shavuot, Abdullah ordered a rocket barrage on the Kiryat Shmona region.

After the commander and the three agents met in a building, the military released video of the Jouaiyya strike. Every single one of the four died.

The IDF also regarded Abdullah as a “source of knowledge” due to his extensive background in the terrorist group. According to the military, Abdullah was the commander of the Bint Jbeil area during the 2006 Lebanon war and was engaged in the attempted kidnapping in Ghajar in 2005.

According to the IDF, it was ready for Hezbollah’s reaction to the attack and was expecting more assaults throughout the day.

After the missile barrages, the IDF claimed to have hit four Hezbollah locations in Yater, southern Lebanon, which were utilized to launch the attack. According to the military, rocket launchers deployed in the barrages in Hanine and Yaroun were also struck.

Hezbollah-led fighters have been attacking Israeli communities and military facilities along the border almost every day since the day following Hamas’s attack on October 7th. The group claims that it is doing this to further support Gaza.

Ten Israeli civilians have died as a result of the border confrontations thus far, in addition to fifteen IDF soldiers and reservists. Additionally, Syria has launched multiple strikes without resulting in any casualties.

According to Hezbollah, Israel has killed 342 of its members during the current clashes, which have mainly taken place in Lebanon but have also occurred in Syria. There have been numerous civilian casualties, a Lebanese soldier, and 62 additional terrorist operatives slain in Lebanon.

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