Israel eliminates Hezbollah senior commander as terror group warns it will pay ‘the price’

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The Israeli military said it killed a senior Hezbollah commander in a strike carried out in Lebanon as the terror group vows retaliation.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced Thursday that an overnight airstrike targeting a “Hezbollah military structure” in Nabatieh killed Ali Muhammad Aldbas, a senior commander of the Radwan forces. His deputy commander, Ibrahim Issa, and an additional terrorist were killed in the attack, according to IDF.

“Aldbas was amongst those who directed the terrorist attack at the Megiddo Junction in Israel in March 2023. He led, planned, and carried out terrorist activity toward the State of Israel, especially during this war,” the IDF said. 

The Radwan Force is a special operation forces unit of Hezbollah specifically tasked with infiltrating and carrying out attacks in northern Israel. 

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Hezbollah on Thursday said Israel would pay “the price” for killing 10 people, including five children, in southern Lebanon in a separate airstrike the day before.

“The enemy will pay the price for these crimes,” Hezbollah politician Hassan Fadlallah told Reuters. “The resistance will continue to practice its legitimate right to defend its people.”

Several of the armed Lebanese group’s fighters were also killed in separate strikes on Wednesday, including on Nabatieh, Reuters reported, citing Hezbollah officials and security sources. 

The strikes came in response to a rocket barrage that struck several northern Israeli communities on Wednesday morning. One of those injured remains in serious condition, another received significant injuries and six others were lightly injured, according to local officials.

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Hezbollah’s rockets struck the Kibbutz Manara, Moshav Netu’a, as well as a military base, all in northern Israel.

The exchange of fire comes after Israel has repeatedly warned Hezbollah that a full-scale war with Israel remains on the table.

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari addressed Hezbollah earlier in February, saying that Israel will be “ready to attack immediately” if provoked, but said they do not wish for outright war.

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“We do not choose war as our first priority, but we are certainly prepared,” Hagari said.”We will continue to act wherever Hezbollah is present, we will continue to act wherever it is required in the Middle East. What is true for Lebanon is true for Syria, and is true for other more distant places.”

Hezbollah has been waging near daily attacks on Israeli targets at the border since its Palestinian ally Hamas stormed Israel from Gaza on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and abducting some 250, according to Israeli tallies.

Hezbollah has said its campaign will stop only when Israel halts its offensive in the Gaza Strip, where more than 28,000 people have been killed, according to health authorities in Hamas-run Gaza.

Both sides have said they want to avoid full-scale conflict, which would force Israel into a two-front war against Hamas to its south and Hezbollah to the north. 

Fox News Digital’s Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report. 

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