update deskIsrael at War

IAF strike kills ‘central terrorist operative’ in Lebanon

The Beqaa Valley strike targeted Ayman Ratma, who according to the IDF was involved in "the promotion and execution of terrorist activities against Israel in the immediate future."

Soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces' Sky Rider unit during a training drill at the Tze'elim army base in the Western Negev, Aug. 5, 2013. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
Soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces' Sky Rider unit during a training drill at the Tze'elim army base in the Western Negev, Aug. 5, 2013. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.

An Israeli air strike on a vehicle in eastern Lebanon targeted a terrorist responsible for supplying weapons to the Hamas and Jamaa Islamiya terror organizations, the Israeli military said on Saturday.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, Ayman Ratma was eliminated by the Israeli Air Force “due to his involvement in the promotion and execution of terrorist activities against Israel in the immediate future, as well as his involvement in advancing terrorist activity against Israeli civilians.”

The statement identified Ratma as a “central terrorist operative” in Lebanon who also helped build “terrorist infrastructure” in the country.

The strike took place in the Beqaa Valley region, a Hezbollah stronghold located approximately 60 miles from the border with Israel.

Iran-backed Hezbollah has attacked northern Israel nearly every day since joining the war in support of Hamas on Oct. 8, killing more than 20 people and causing widespread damage. Tens of thousands of Israeli civilians remain internally displaced due to the ongoing violence.

In addition, Hamas and Jamaa Islamiya—a local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Lebanon—have also launched terror attacks across the Jewish state’s northern border.

Last week, IDF Northern Command announced the approval of operational plans for a military campaign against Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon.

“We have an obligation to change the situation in the north, and to ensure the safe return of our citizens to their homes, and we will find a way to achieve this,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Wednesday.

In response, Hezbollah on Saturday night released a video clip in which Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah threatened to fight a war against Israel “without restraints, without rules, without limits.”

“Whoever thinks of war against us will regret it,” stated the video, which included footage of various sites in central Israel, along with their GPS coordinates.

On June 18, Hezbollah released drone footage of Haifa Port, one of Israel’s most important shipping gateways.

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