Lebanon's Hezbollah announced a significant rocket and drone assault on Israel on Thursday, in response to the assassination of a high-ranking commander, marking another escalation in the increasingly volatile conflict along the Israeli-Lebanese border. This conflict, occurring concurrently with the war in Gaza, has seen tensions between the Iran-supported Hezbollah and Israel steadily rise over recent months, sparking concerns about a potential full-scale war, despite both parties' stated desire to avoid such an outcome and ongoing diplomatic efforts to prevent it.

As the latest round of violence unfolded near or at the border, consistent with the pattern seen over the past nine months, sonic booms for the second consecutive day shook nerves in Beirut and throughout Lebanon. According to Lebanon's National News Agency, Israeli jets broke the sound barrier over multiple areas in Lebanon. Hezbollah claimed to have launched over 200 rockets and a swarm of drones targeting ten Israeli military sites in retaliation for the killing of Hezbollah commander Mohammed Nasser in the south on Wednesday, one of the most senior Hezbollah figures killed by Israel during the conflict.

An Israeli military spokesperson stated that Hezbollah's claims were being evaluated, while Israel's ambulance service reported no casualties. The Israeli military confirmed it was targeting launch sites in southern Lebanon and had intercepted numerous projectiles, with some drones and interceptor shrapnel causing fires. The United States has spearheaded diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation, with Hezbollah stating it will not halt its attacks as long as Israel continues its offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The ongoing hostilities have severely impacted both sides of the border, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate their homes. Amos Hochstein, a key US diplomat, discussed efforts with French officials on Wednesday to restore calm, with a White House official stating that France and the United States aim to resolve the conflict diplomatically, ensuring the safe return of Israeli and Lebanese civilians with long-term security guarantees.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant emphasized on Wednesday that Israeli forces are striking Hezbollah intensely daily and are prepared to take any necessary action against the group, though a negotiated settlement is preferred. Hezbollah had already launched rockets at Israel on Wednesday in response to Nasser's killing, and began targeting Israeli border positions in support of its Palestinian ally Hamas, which attacked Israel on October 7.

Israeli operations in Lebanon have reportedly resulted in the deaths of over 300 Hezbollah fighters and approximately 90 civilians, according to Reuters. Conversely, Israel reports that attacks from Lebanon have led to the deaths of 18 soldiers and 10 civilians.