‘Get Ready To Weep,’ Hezbollah Tells Israel Over Leader’s Killing


By Najia Houssari

Hezbollah launched a barrage of rockets at Israel on Wednesday and vowed to step up its attacks in retaliation for an Israeli strike that killed a senior Hezbollah field commander.

As the conflict on the southern border escalated alarmingly, a senior Hezbollah leader warned the Israeli army that it “should get ready to weep and wail.”

The dramatic escalation follows an Israeli strike in the southern Lebanon village of Jouaiyya late on Tuesday that killed a senior field commander, Taleb Sami Abdullah, 55, the highest-ranking Hezbollah official to be killed in eight months of fighting.

Three other Hezbollah fighters were also killed in the strike that Israel said hit a command and control center.

Hezbollah retaliated by targeting military sites deep inside Israel, with salvos of rockets reaching Tiberias for the first time.

Israeli army radio estimated that “by noon, 170 shells and rockets had been fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel.”

Hezbollah mourned Abdullah as a “mujahid and leader.”

The funeral procession took place in the southern suburb of Beirut, with Abdullah’s coffin wrapped in a Hezbollah flag.

During the proceedings, Sayyed Hashem Safi Al-Din, head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, said: “Our response to the martyrdom of Taleb Sami Abdullah is that we will intensify our operations in severity, quantity, and quality, and the enemy should await us on the battlefield. If the Israeli army is already crying out and groaning from what has hit it in northern Palestine, it should get ready to weep and wail.”

Hamas and Islamic Jihad also mourned Abdullah, as did the Kata’ib Sayyid Al-Shuhada, an Iraqi faction affiliated with what is known as the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, saying that the slain Hezbollah leader was “a comrade of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

Early on Wednesday, Hezbollah targeted the Ruwaysat Al-Qarn site in the Shebaa Farms with rockets and also launched rockets at the Ramtha site in the Kfar Shouba Hills. Later in the day, it targeted Israeli soldiers at the Malkiyah site with artillery fire.

Israeli army radio said: “This is the first time that the alarm sirens have sounded in Tiberias since October,” while Israeli media published a video showing rockets falling on a military base in Tiberias for the first time.

Sirens sounded after another salvo of rockets landed near the Israeli Meron Air Base in Upper Galilee.

The rapid escalation led acting Prime Minister Najib Mikati to call for expanded diplomatic negotiations involving the EU, headed by EU Ambassador to Lebanon Sandra De Waele.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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