1 killed in Israeli drone strike near Quneitra — Syrian state TV
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1 killed in Israeli drone strike near Quneitra — Syrian state TV

Unconfirmed reports identify man targeted in a car traveling near Israel border as local Hezbollah commander Imad Tawil

A member of the Syrian security forces walks near the border post with Israel in the Syrian town of Quneitra in the Golan Heights on March 26, 2019. (Louai Beshara/AFP)
Illustrative: A member of the Syrian security forces walks near the border post with Israel in the Syrian town of Quneitra in the Golan Heights on March 26, 2019. (Louai Beshara/AFP)

A man was killed in an Israeli drone strike in southern Syria’s Quneitra province, near the border with Israel, state media reported Thursday.

“A civilian was martyred when his car was targeted by a drone belonging to the Israeli enemy south of the town of Hader,” the SANA news agency reported.

The report did not specify when the alleged strike took place or identify the man.

Quoting Syrian reports, Hebrew-language media named him as Imad Tawil, a local resident who had been recruited by Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and served as a local commander for the organization.

The reports said Tawil was apparently involved in setting up “terror infrastructure” that could be used to launch attacks along the border.

There was no immediate response from Israel, which rarely acknowledges strikes conducted in Syria.

Though Israeli officials generally refrain from taking responsibility for specific strikes in Syria, they have acknowledged conducting hundreds to thousands of raids in the country since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

These have overwhelmingly been directed against Iran and its proxies, notably the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group, but the IDF has also carried out strikes on Syrian air defenses when those batteries have fired at Israeli jets.

Earlier Thursday, the army said Israeli fighter jets had downed a drone launched from the Gaza Strip.

Illustrative — An Israeli Air Force F-15 fighter flies during an aerial show at a graduation ceremony for soldiers who have completed the IAF Flight Course, at the Hatzerim Air Base in the Negev desert, December 29, 2016 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Thursday’s incident came as Israel was relaxing its restrictions on the Gaza Strip as violence emanating from the Hamas-run enclave waned.

Over the course of Sunday and Monday, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group fired roughly 100 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel. In response, the Israel Defense Forces launched several waves of retaliatory strikes against the organization in Gaza and — in a highly irregular move — inside Syria.

Fighting ended late Monday night with Islamic Jihad announcing it would stop firing rockets if Israel halted its airstrikes.

Judah Ari Gross and agencies contributed to this report.

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