In Human Rights, International, Middle East

On May 26, 2024, an Israeli drone strike killed two young Hezbollah soldiers in the centre of Houla, Lebanon. Their names were Hussein Salman Mustafa (“Haidar”) and Tareq Bassam Awad (“Mujahed”). They were 20 and 24 years old.

Houla is a frontline village in south Lebanon. It was evacuated months ago, after a series of devastating Israeli airstrikes persuaded local authorities that the village was no longer safe.

On May 27, hundreds of villagers returned temporarily to their homes to attend the funeral for Mustafa and Awad. Along with Lebanese journalist Hadi Hoteit, I accompanied a convoy of refugees to Houla.

After I attended the funeral, Hadi and I inspected the site of the Israeli drone strike. There, we found remnants of the missile that killed the Hezbollah soldiers.

We also inspected many of the buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes over the past seven months.

On the same day that Hadi and I visited Houla, Hezbollah announced that, in retaliation for the killing of Mustafa and Awad, its forces had launched a drone attack on the headquarters of the Sahel Battalion of the Israeli military’s 769th Brigade at “Beit Hillel”.

You can watch my full, on-the-ground report from Houla here:

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