The deputy commander of the Lebanese branch of Hamas's al-Qassam Brigades, Khalil al-Kharaz, was eliminated in an Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, Hamas told Lebanese media.
According to Lebanese reports, Kharaz was killed in an airstrike which targeted a vehicle he was traveling in on the road between Chaaitiyeh and Qlaileh, south of Tyre.
Al-Mayadeen claims IDF strike targeted journalists
Earlier on Tuesday, an IDF strike killed two journalists working for a Lebanese TV channel, as well as a third person, near the border with Israel, Lebanese state media and the Al Mayadeen network said.The IDF said late Tuesday that “IDF forces acted to remove an existing threat in an area from which Hezbollah was firing [rockets], near al-Jabin. The claim that IDF fire led to the death of journalists who were in that area is known.“The area is an active combat zone in which there are regular exchanges of fire and being there is dangerous. The incident is under review,” said the IDF.
In the past, some journalists in Gaza have doubled as terrorists, and the IDF has been aggressive about calling out such journalists.
But the delayed and circumspect IDF response suggested that whoever fired on the area may not have known that journalists were there, a mistake the IDF will likely be careful to correct in the future.
After that incident, Hezbollah launched rocket launches into Israel, stating their recent attacks on Tuesday afternoon on Israel’s North was an “initial response to the killing of journalists.”
Al Mayadeen said the strike, near the town of Tir Harfa, about a kilometer from the Israeli frontier, had deliberately targeted the TV crew because the channel was known to be pro-Palestinian and pro-Iran’s regional military alliance.Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati also blamed Israel, saying the strike was an Israeli attempt to silence the media.
Al Mayadeen named its killed journalists as Farah Omar, a correspondent, and Rabie al-Memari, a camera operator. The third person killed in the strike was Hussein Aqil, who was at the site where the crew was filming. Al Mayadeen told Reuters he was not working with the channel.
Violence at the border
Late Tuesday, Hezbollah sent suspicious flying objects, likely drones, to attack Israel, with the IDF firing on them. The IDF did not say what happened exactly, but that the incident had passed in terms of presenting any danger.Additionally, the IDF said it followed this Hezbollah attack with yet another counterattack.Some observers are speculating that the IDF might even use a war pause with Hamas to hit Hezbollah harder in the coming days.The fighting between Israel and Hezbollah is the worst violence at the border since the 2006 war and has so far killed more than 70 Hezbollah fighters, 13 Lebanese civilians, seven Israeli troops, and three Israeli civilians.