Hezbollah responds to the killing of its senior commander with rocket and drone attacks on Israel

The killing of Hezbollah’s commander Mohammad Nimah Nasser may lead to an escalation of a multi-front, regional war with Israel

July 05, 2024 by Aseel Saleh
Mohammad Nimah Nasser.

Senior Hezbollah commander, Mohammad Nimah Nasser, also known as Hajj Abu Nimah, was assassinated in an Israeli airstrike that targeted a car he was getting into in Hosh area, Tyre, southern Lebanon on Wednesday July 3.

The high-ranking commander was the leader of the Aziz Unit,operating in the Lebanon Valley region deemed as one of the two most important units in charge of the border strip with the areas occupied by Israel.

Hezbollah responded to Nasser’s assassination by targeting Israeli military positions with more than 200 rockets and drones, and vowed to launch more attacks as retaliation. Israeli media then announced that Israeli reservist officer, Itay Galea, was killed by Hezbollah’s attacks on the Golan Height in the northern territories occupied by Israel.

Nasser is the third Hezbollah’s high-ranking official to be killed during the last nine months of cross-border-fighting between Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah commander, Taleb Abdullah, also known as Abu Taleb, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the village of Jouya in southern Lebanon on June 12. Commander Waseem Al-Tawil, also known as Jawad, was killed in an Israeli drone attack in the Bent Jbeil district in southern Lebanon in January 2024.

The assassinations of Hezbollah officials may mark a point of escalation in the multi-front war, in which Israel has been fighting Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, the Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza strip, emerging Palestinian armed resistance groups in the northern West Bank, Yemen’s Ansar Allah in the Red Sea, and the Islamic Resistance in Iraq. Iran meanwhile, has warned Israel that it is ready to launch an obliterating war if it attacks Lebanon.

Iran’s warning comes three months after it launched an unprecedented large-scale drone and missile attack on Israel last April, in retaliation to Israel’s attack on an Iranian diplomatic complex in Syria.

Israel was not only warned by its rivals in terms of its attacks on Lebanon. The United Nations Secretary-General Anonio Gutterres also warned of the escalation of the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel while speaking to reporters in New York last June. “Let’s be clear: The people of the region and the people of the world cannot afford Lebanon to become another Gaza,” Gutterres told reporters.

Already at least 481 people have been killed in Lebanon as a result of the war between Hezbolllah and Israel since October 7.

In June 2024, Human Rights Watch published a report on Israel’s use of white phosphorus in populated residential areas in southern Lebanon during the last nine months. The report said that the use of this deadly chemical substance has been putting Lebanese civilians in grave risk and contributing to their displacement.

The current Israeli government is apparently determined to proceed in an all-out regional war, ignoring the voices calling for the immediate end of the war within Israeli society, the international community, and even from the United States. Netanyahu has also apparently not taken into consideration the exhaustion of the Israeli troops from the battles in Gaza, which may make them unprepared to fight in the northern front with Hezbollah, according to Israeli news reports.