An Israeli airstrike killed a commander of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon on Monday, as the exchange of strikes along the border escalates. This latest incident raises concerns of another Mideast war, while fighting in Gaza continues to take a toll on civilians.
The strike on an SUV killed a commander in a secretive Hezbollah force that operates along the border, according to a Lebanese security official. Hezbollah confirmed the death but did not provide details.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is back in the region and trying to prevent a wider conflict. Israeli officials have said they are now focusing on the central region and the southern city of Khan Younis in Gaza, and plan to continue the fighting for many more months to dismantle Hamas.
Amid the fighting, Gaza’s hospitals are overwhelmed, with reports of medics, patients, and displaced people fleeing from the main hospital in central Gaza as fighting drew closer. The death toll in Gaza has reached over 23,000, with nearly 85% of the population displaced and significant shortages of food and water reported.
Israeli forces are still battling pockets of militants in northern Gaza, and the situation there is dire with the WHO stating it hasn’t been able to deliver supplies to the area in 12 days.
Israeli strikes have resulted in over 23,000 deaths and more than 58,000 wounded since the war began, with about two-thirds of those killed being women and minors. Israel blames Hamas for civilian casualties, while Hezbollah has fired rockets in response, driving tens of thousands of Israelis from their homes.
Hezbollah appears wary of risking all-out war that would bring massive destruction to Lebanon, but tensions remain high as efforts continue to prevent further escalation.