Hezbollah’s biggest air strike on Israel, fired more than 200 rockets

The Lebanese Hezbollah group said on Thursday it fired more than 200 rockets at several military targets in Israel in retaliation for an attack that killed one of its senior commanders. The attack by the Iran-backed militant group was one of the biggest assaults in the months-long conflict on the Lebanon-Israel border, with tensions heightened in recent weeks. The Israeli military said numerous projectiles and suspected aerial targets had entered its territory from Lebanon, several of which were intercepted. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Why does the Hezbollah group target Israel?

It acknowledged on Wednesday that it had killed Mohammed Naameh Nasser, who led one of Hezbollah’s three regional divisions in southern Lebanon, a day earlier. Hours later, Hezbollah launched multiple Katyusha rockets and flak rockets with heavy weapons into northern Israel and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. It launched more rockets on Thursday and said it had also sent explosive drones at several targets. The US and France have been struggling to prevent the clashes from turning into a full-blown war, which they fear could spread across the region. Relatively low-level conflict broke out in Gaza soon after the war began. Hezbollah says it is attacking Israel in solidarity with Hamas, another Iran-allied group, which sparked the war in Gaza with an attack on southern Israel on October 7. The group’s leadership says it will halt its attacks once a ceasefire is reached in Gaza, and that although it does not want war, it is prepared for one.

Will Israel and Lebanon go to war?

Meanwhile, Israeli officials say they could decide to go to war in Lebanon if efforts for a diplomatic solution fail. Hezbollah’s retaliatory strike comes a day after US President Joe Biden’s senior adviser Amos Hochstein met French President Emmanuel Macron’s Lebanon envoy Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris.

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