BEIRUT: Hezbollah launched a major rocket and drone attack on Israel on Thursday and threatened to target new sites in retaliation for the killing of one of its top commanders.

The party fired advanced Burkan and Falaq rocket attacks at various sites in northern Israel, including five army barracks, a shopping mall in Acre and the Golan Heights.

The Israeli army said one soldier died in the attack and several others were seriously injured. Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth reported that 25 firefighting teams had been deployed to tackle 10 fires in the Golan and the Upper Galilee sparked by the incident.

The head of Hezbollah’s Aziz Unit, Mohammed Nimah Nasser, and his companion were killed during an attack by an Israeli aircraft on the Tire road. Nasser is the most prominent field commander to have been killed since the beginning of the conflict.

Last month, the commander of Hezbollah’s Al-Nasr Unit, Talib Sami Abdullah, was killed in a bombing raid on a house in Juwaya.

A source close to Hezbollah said Nasser had “a great symbolism in the party.” He first engaged in resisting the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon in 1984 and had been involved in the current conflict since Oct. 8.

“When Israel established the border strip, he was involved in all incursions until the liberation of the south in 2000. He played his role in the July 2006 war and the wars in Syria and Iraq between 2011 and 2016,” the source said.

Hashem Safieddine, head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council, said the southern front “will remain active and strong” and that the Israeli army was about to face a “resounding defeat amid the steadfastness of the people of Gaza and the resistance that will remain in Gaza. “

According to security sources, Hezbollah launched 25 drones from Lebanese territory towards northern Israel Upper Galilee and Golan “after it had emptied the Iron Dome of interceptor missiles.”

Israeli media said there had been reports of several drone explosions and that sirens had sounded in Kidmat Zvi in ​​southern Golan. Other reports said a soldier had been killed and that others had been injured.

A Hezbollah statement said it “targeted a newly established position of Israeli soldiers in the Kfar Blum settlement with a salvo of Katyusha rockets.”

It said it also fired more than 200 rockets of various types at the 91st Brigade headquarters at Ayelet Barracks, the command headquarters of the 7th Armored Brigade at Katsavia Barracks, the command headquarters of the Armored Battalion of the 7th Brigade at Gamla Barracks, the command Headquarters of Brigade 210 (Golan Brigade) at Nafah Base and the artillery battalion headquarters of Brigade 210 at Yarden Barracks.

Hezbollah said it targeted the Al-Baghdadi site with a Burkan rocket.

On Wednesday night, in response to Nasser’s death, Hezbollah said it shelled “the Zarit Barracks with Burkan rockets, headquarters of the land force battalion in the Kila’a barracks with dozens of Katyusha rockets and the command headquarters of brigade 769 in Kiryat Shmona barracks. with Falaq rockets.”

The group also targeted the Birkat Risha and Al-Raheb sites.

A military source told Israeli Army Radio that the scale of the attack was “fully consistent with Hezbollah’s announcement.”

The Israeli army said it “observed the firing of about 160 shells and 15 suicide drones from Lebanon, and air defenses intercepted most of them.”

Israeli media said that “train traffic from Haifa to Nahariya was halted due to the security situation.”

The military escalation in southern Lebanon coincided with the arrival of a delegation from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lebanese Parliament to the UNIFIL headquarters in Naqoura amid the sound of sirens.

The delegation was met by UNIFIL mission commander, Lt. Gen. Aroldo Lazaro, and senior officials. The meeting included a review of the UNIFIL’s role and missions ahead of next month’s renewal of the mandate of the international forces for another year.

Hezbollah’s attack was met with a violent Israeli response, which echoed in Beirut as warplanes broke the sound barrier over the south, reaching Beirut and its southern suburbs and Metn in Mount Lebanon.

Hezbollah said party member Hady Ahmed Shreym, aged 28, was killed in an Israeli drone attack on a house in Houla.

Israeli warplanes also launched strikes on Aitaroun, Aita Al-Shaab and Ramia, while Israeli artillery targeted the towns of Khiam, Udaysah, Kafr Kila, Rab El-Thalathine, Qantara, Deir Seryan, Qabrikha and Naqoura.

Several civilians were injured in the shelling of Kfar Shouba, including Ahmad Ghanem, a member of the municipal council, and Ali Al-Hajj who was inside the same house.