Israeli Strike Kills a Hamas Operative in Lebanon

The Israeli military said on Wednesday that it had killed a senior Hamas operative in an airstrike in southern Lebanon, the latest in a series of targeted killings there following the deadly Hamas-led attacks against Israel on Oct. 7.

The man, Hadi Ali Mustafa, was “a significant operative in Hamas’s department responsible for its international terrorist activities,” the Israeli military said in a statement. It added that he had been involved in attacks “against Israeli and Jewish targets in various countries around the world.” It provided no further details, and its claims could not be independently verified.

In a statement, Hamas’s military wing confirmed Mr. Mustafa’s death but gave no indication of his role within the organization.

The Israeli airstrike, on a car near the southern Lebanese coastal city of Tyre, also killed a passing motorcyclist, Lebanese state media reported. Video from the scene that circulated on social media shows a body being loaded onto a stretcher and a vehicle burning amid panicked onlookers.

Several killings in Lebanon have targeted people whom Israel has called senior figures from Hamas and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, both of which are backed by Iran. In January, Hamas blamed Israel for a blast that killed Saleh al-Arouri, a senior official in the group, in the southern suburbs of Beirut, although Israel has not publicly claimed responsibility.

As it does in Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas has a sizable presence in Lebanon, where it operates largely out of Palestinian refugee camps. Since the war in Gaza began on Oct. 7, Hamas, along with Hezbollah and other allied militant groups, have continued to launch rocket attacks into northern Israel from within Lebanon’s borders.

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