Hamas official survives Israeli drone strike in eastern Lebanon: Security source

An Israeli drone strike on eastern Lebanon has targeted a Palestinian Hamas official who “escaped” the attempted killing, a Lebanese security source said Monday.

Lebanon’s official National News Agency said the strike Sunday near the village of Suwairi in the Bekaa Valley killed a Syrian civilian in his vehicle.

The security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Hamas official was travelling along the same road.

“A Hamas official was targeted by the Israeli drone attack on Sunday but escaped,” said the source, without naming the official.

Since war erupted between Israel and Hamas following the Gaza militants’ October 7 attack, Israeli forces along the country’s northern border with Lebanon have exchanged near-daily fire with Hezbollah, a Hamas ally.

Israel has also targeted Hezbollah and Hamas officials in Lebanon, including in strikes deep into Lebanese territory.

The strike in the Suwairi area, near Lebanon’s border with Syria, was the first Israeli attack there in nearly six months of fighting.

On January 2, a strike widely blamed on Israel killed Hamas’s deputy leader Saleh al-Aruri in a southern Beirut suburb that is a Hezbollah stronghold.

He is the most high-profile Hamas figure to be killed during the war.

According to another security source, pre-dawn Israeli strikes on Sunday wounded four people, including a Hezbollah member, in Baalbek, further north in the Bekaa Valley.

The cross-border violence since early October has killed at least 326 people in Lebanon, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also 57 civilians.

At least 10 soldiers and seven civilians have been killed in northern Israel, according to the Israeli military.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the violence in Lebanon’s south and Israel’s north.

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