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Hezbollah hits another Merkava tank, causing casualties among Israeli soldiers

An Israeli soldier walks next to a Merkava tank in Kiryat Shmona close to the border with Lebanon on October 16, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Hezbollah fighters have hit an Israeli Merkava tank near the border area in southern Lebanon, according to a statement posted on the resistance movement's Telegram channel.

"Islamic resistance fighters attacked the armored vehicle near the barracks in Manara with a guided anti-tank missile," the statement said.

The crew is said to have wounded and dead among them. The Hezbollah Military Information Service pledged to post a video that captured the missile hitting the tank.

On October 15 and 16, Hezbollah fighters hit two more Merkava tanks in attacks on Israeli troops stationed in border areas. On October 10, a Zelda armored personnel carrier near the Jewish settlement of Avivim was destroyed and completely burned.

The Hezbollah attacks come amid Israel’s deadly bombing campaign on the Gaza Strip, which followed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas on October 7.

Hezbollah praised the Hamas operation, saying armed resistance is the only way to confront the Israeli “aggression”.

‘Hamas, Hezbollah coordinating war’s next moves’

A senior Hamas representative in Lebanon said that the Gaza-based Palestinian group and Hezbollah are closely coordinating their next steps in fighting against Israel.

“We have very strong relations with Hezbollah. We were cooperating with Hezbollah before the attack on Israel and after and now we are in full cooperation,” Ahmed Abdul-Hadi, the head of Hamas’ political bureau in Beirut, told the Politico news website.

He also noted that despite close cooperation with Hezbollah, the October 7 operation was all Hamas’s work.

“This operation was organized by the al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas) and later other Palestinian organizations joined the operation. This was purely a Palestinian mission – its planning and execution. Not even our loyal allies knew what was coming,” he explained.

Abdul-Hadi further said that Hezbollah is now “geared for a major war” against Israel in the north, while Hamas would burst Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “dream” of driving it out of Gaza.

He described a possible Israeli ground offensive against Gaza as one of the key triggers that could bring Hezbollah fully into the conflict.

“Hezbollah will pay no attention to threats from anyone against it entering the war; it will ignore warnings to stay out of it. The timing of when Hezbollah wants to enter the war or not will relate to Israeli escalation and incidents on the ground, and especially if Israel tries to enter Gaza on the ground,” the Hamas official said.

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