Hamas-linked figure survives 'Israeli strike' in Lebanon, 3 others killed

Basel Salah, close to slain Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri, reportedly injured in drone strike, but his condition unclear; strike much deeper into Lebanese territory than usual fire exchanges between Hezbollah and IDF


An Israeli strike about 60 km inside Lebanon's southern border on Saturday targeted a Palestinian figure close to Hamas but he survived, four security sources said.
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Three other people were killed, including one member of the powerful, Iran-backed Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, the security sources also told Reuters.

According to foreign reports, the target of the drone strike was Basel Salah, a Hamas operative in Lebanon responsible for recruiting and operating activists, including in the West Bank. Salah, involved in deploying recruits and issuing terror operation plans, was reported as injured, with the specifics unclear.
One source told Reuters Salah was close to Saleh al-Arouri, the Hamas deputy chief killed last month in a suspected Israeli strike on a suburb of Beirut.
Saturday's strike was much deeper into Lebanese territory than the usual exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel's military, which have been mostly limited to the border region.
There was no immediate comment from Hamas in Lebanon or from the Israeli military.
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תקיפה של רכב ואופנוע  בעיירה ג'דרא מצפון לצידון
תקיפה של רכב ואופנוע  בעיירה ג'דרא מצפון לצידון
Aftermath of strike north of Lebanon's Tyre
Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging near-daily fire since Oct. 7 when Hamas launched an attack on Israeli territory in which 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage into the Gaza Strip.
On Saturday, Hezbollah said it had seized an Israeli Skylark drone over Lebanese air space "in good condition".
The Skylark is a small, unmanned aerial vehicle typically used for surveillance and produced by Israel-based weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said on Saturday that “Lebanon does not want war and is not seeking it.”
Meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian in Beirut, Bou Habib said that he had “presented to the Iranian foreign minister our vision for a comprehensive solution to the tension in southern Lebanon based on Resolution 1701," referring to a UN resolution that brought an end to a month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer of 2006.
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פגישת נסראללה עם  שר החוץ האיראני, חוסין אמיר עבדאללהיאן בלבנון
פגישת נסראללה עם  שר החוץ האיראני, חוסין אמיר עבדאללהיאן בלבנון
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian (third from left) meets with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah (second from right) in Beirut
Abdollahian added, "We had constructive talks with Lebanese officials about the regional situation. We believe the Palestinian resistance and Hamas acted wisely against the crimes committed by Israel. It's clear that after more than four months, Israel has not achieved any results.
“If the U.S. wants peace, it must stop the war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank. Iran wishes the best for Lebanon and does not seek to escalate the war in the region."
Lebanese officials and Western diplomats have said Hezbollah has signaled its openness to U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure calm on the border with Israel once a cease-fire is in place in Gaza.
Hamas this week proposed a cease-fire of 4-1/2 months, during which remaining hostages would go free, Israel would withdraw its troops and agreement would be reached on an end to the war.
Netanyahu said Hamas' terms, offered in response to a proposal drawn up by U.S. and Israeli spy chiefs with Qatar and Egypt, were "delusional" and vowed to fight on.
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