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Israel transfers largest military division from Gaza to Lebanese border amid tensions

Smoke billows from the area of an Israeli air strike on the southern Lebanese village of Marwahin near the border with the occupied territories on February 10, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Israel’s military chief has reportedly transferred the largest military division from the Gaza Strip to the border with Lebanon, as tensions continue to escalate with the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah in the border area.

Herzi Halevi decided to withdraw the 36th Division from Gaza and transfer it to the Lebanese border on Sunday, a day after Hezbollah launched a fresh round of retaliatory missile attacks on an Israeli military site in the occupied territories.

According to Israeli media, Major General Yaron Finkelman, the head of Israeli military operations in Gaza, had earlier called for the 36th Division to remain in the central part of the besieged enclave to increase military pressure on the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

It went on to say that Major General Oded Basyuk, the head of the Operations Division, proposed removing the division from Gaza toward the north to replace the reserve forces.

However, Israel’s military chief ultimately decided to withdraw the 36th Division from Gaza and transfer it to the Lebanese border, the media added, without providing any information on the timing of the transfer of the division.

The latest development comes a day after a high-ranking official with the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement survived an Israeli assassination attempt in southern Lebanon.

Lebanon's official National News Agency said an Israeli drone struck a car in the coastal town of Jadra, located north of Sidon and south of the capital Beirut on Saturday.

According to Israeli media, the target of this assassination attempt was Hamas recruitment officer Bassel Saleh.

Shortly after the initial strike, a second Israeli drone hit the same location, killing three people.

Hezbollah said one of its members had been killed in the Jadra attack.

Following the attack, Hezbollah said its forces had launched a salvo of rockets on Israel’s Branit military barracks in the occupied territories, the headquarters of the army's Galilee Division.

Hezbollah resistance fighters also took control of an Israeli drone after it violated the Lebanese airspace near the border with the occupied territories.

Israel waged its brutal war on besieged Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out an unprecedented operation against the occupying entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

The Israeli aggression has so far killed at least 28,064 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 67,611 others in Gaza. 

The Israeli military has also been carrying out attacks against the Lebanese territory since then, prompting retaliatory strikes from Hezbollah in support of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

The movement has vowed to keep up its retaliatory operations as long as the Tel Aviv regime continues its onslaught on Gaza.

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