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    Slain Hezbollah Commander Fought in Some of the Group’s Biggest Battles, Had Close Ties to Leaders

    Slain Hezbollah Commander Fought in Some of the Group's Biggest Battles, Had Close Ties to Leaders

    — The elite Hezbollah commander who was killed in an Israeli airstrike Monday in southern fought for the group for decades and took part in some of its biggest battles.

    Wissam al-Tawil, a 48-year-old commander in Hezbollah's secretive Radwan deployed along the border with , was killed when the strike hit his SUV in his hometown of Khirbet Silem. The strike was about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the border, beyond the villages and towns that have witnessed the two sides exchange fire over the past three months.

    Israeli officials have been demanding for weeks that the Radwan Force withdraw from the border area to allow tens of thousands of Israelis displaced by the fighting to return to their homes. During a visit to Israel last month, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said a “negotiated outcome” would be the best way to reassure residents of northern Israel.

    Al-Tawil, who joined Hezbollah in 1989, was the highest-ranking official in the group to be killed since the exchange of fire along the Lebanon-Israel border began following the deadly Oct. 7 attack into southern Israel by Hamas, a Hezbollah ally.

    After the Israel-Hamas war started three months ago, al-Tawil commanded some “special operations” against Israeli posts along the border, according to a Hezbollah statement.

    A Hezbollah official told The Associated Press that al-Tawil had a role in sparking the summer 2006 war…

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