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Israel says it’s killed half of Hezbollah’s commanders since October 7, group dismisses claim as “ridiculous”

From CNN staff

Half of Hezbollah’s commanders in southern Lebanon have been killed since fighting with Israel began on October 7, according to Israel’s defense minister – a claim Hezbollah denies.

In remarks made on camera after a “deep operational discussion” at the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) northern command headquarters, Yoav Gallant said there’s a “continuous offensive operation by IDF forces in all of southern Lebanon,” of which the results are “very impressive.”

“Half of Hezbollah commanders in southern Lebanon were eliminated… we made it so that either they die, or they hide and abandon South Lebanon to the IDF’s operation, which is being done intensively,” Gallant said.

A Hezbollah official who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity denied those claims.

“The statement is ridiculous. It is meant for domestic consumption, or perhaps for the settlers in the north,” the official said.

The official went on to say that Hezbollah has not yet announced its “full mobilization,” adding that “our fighters continue to follow a service and leave system.”

There have been months of daily, deadly cross-border strikes by both Israel and Hezbollah that have displaced tens of thousands of Lebanese and Israeli residents from their homes. Israel has fired artillery and launched jets and drones to strike targets while Hezbollah has used some of its vast arsenal of rockets and missiles.

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