BEIRUT, May 18 — Palestinian militant group Hamas said Friday that a “commander” was killed in an Israeli strike on an eastern district of Lebanon near the Syrian border.

Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement that “commander” Sharhabil Sayed was killed “after he was targeted by Israeli occupation aircraft” in Lebanon’s West Bekaa area.

A source close to the Palestinian militant group, speaking on condition of anonymity, had earlier told AFP that Sayed was a Hamas official responsible for Lebanon’s Bekaa region and “was killed in an Israeli strike that targeted his vehicle”.

Lebanon’s civil defence agency reported “one martyr and two wounded due to an Israeli air strike” on a vehicle near Majdal Anjar, a town around five kilometres (three miles) from the Syrian border and around 60 kilometres from Lebanon’s border with Israel.

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Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported one dead and two wounded in an “enemy strike” that targeted a vehicle in the same area.

An AFP photographer saw a vehicle that had been destroyed in the raid.

The strike came after Israeli strikes earlier in the day killed a Hezbollah fighter and two children, according to the Lebanese militant group and official media.

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After Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel triggered war in Gaza, its powerful Lebanese ally Hezbollah has exchanged near-daily fire with Israeli forces across the border.

The attacks have been intensifying, with Israeli forces increasingly striking deep into Lebanese territory, while Palestinian factions and other allied groups in Lebanon have also claimed cross-border attacks.

Hezbollah earlier this week announced that its chief Hassan Nasrallah had met with senior Hamas member Khalil al-Hayya.

In March, Hamas said one of its members was killed in an Israeli strike in south Lebanon that state media said killed three people.

A strike in January, which a US defence official said was carried out by Israel, killed Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Aruri and six other militants in Hezbollah’s south Beirut stronghold.

The cross-border fighting has killed at least 419 people in Lebanon, mostly militants but also including 82 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says 14 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed on its side of the border. — AFP