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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Death of Hezbollah’s “Martyr on the Road to Jerusalem”: The Life and Legacy of Wissam Tawil

Mahmoud Zayyat

After over ninety days of intense fighting since the day Hamas instigated the deadliest terrorist attack in Israeli history, the war between Israel and Hamas has escalated beyond any point in the past. Many allies have gotten involved in the multifaceted conflict, escalating things even more. 

One of the key enemies included is Hezbollah, a radical Islamic terrorist organization from Lebanon. Hezbollah has been a strong ally of Hamas throughout this war, firing missiles and rockets into Israel every day seeking to promote a jihad, or defending Islam. As a result, Israel began defending its borders on the Lebanese-Israeli border on October 8th.

However, Hezbollah’s plan was set terribly off course when the head of Hezbollah, Wissam Tawil, was murdered by an Israeli drone, which hit his car in South Lebanon at 10:15 CST. The drone strike made Tawil’s car veer off the road and engulf in flames, and, along with another Hezbollah fighter, went to their top deputy head.

Despite much anger being directed at Israel from many Middle Eastern countries, Israel claimed it was responsible for the act.

“As for the hit in south Lebanon, we did take responsibility,” Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said. “This is part of our war.” 

This death wasn’t easy on any Hamas supporters and Hezbollah, especially. Hezbollah described Tawil as someone who “rose as a martyr on the road to Jerusalem,” according to BBC

Regarding the celebration of his life, according to Reuters, Tawil’s funeral in southern Lebanon was a major event with thousands of people attending. His coffin was covered delicately in Hezbollah’s yellow flag and was carried throughout the streets of Tawil’s hometown. 

Ultimately, the killing of their leader certainly is a setback, but it likely will not stop their executions in the conflict.

“It’s going to be something that they will feel, but it is not going to stop them. The way Hezbollah is set up is that there are people who are always ready to replace commanders and fighters who have been killed on the battlefield,” Al Jazeera reporter Imran Khan said.

As a result of the death of their top commander, the war is expected to escalate even more and “[spiral] into a wider regional conflagration,” according to CNN

As it is, under the command of Tawil, 100,000 Israelis left Israel due to Hezbollah threats, and the US is currently working on a solution for Lebanese refugees to seek refuge in southern Lebanon once again. 

However, due to the death of Tawil, Hezbollah launched its drones toward the IDF headquarters in Safed, a city in Northern Israel as retaliation, being the first time that Hezbollah had touched Safed during this war. Hezbollah does not appear to be stopping its attacks toward Israel, for the group is increasing the intensity of its attacks as the war progresses. 

“We have seen more and deeper strikes in the past few days, which is a worrying trend,” said U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon’s spokesperson, Kandice Ardiel. 

The death of Wissam Tawil was a significant blow to Hezbollah and like-minded supporters, resulting in increased attacks, hostilities, and tensions within the region, as well as increasing Hezbollah’s involvement in the Israel-Hamas War. 

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About the Contributor
Maia Goldman
Maia Goldman, Staff Writer
Maia Goldman ('25) is excited to be writing for The Echo for this 2023-2024 school year! In her spare time, she enjoys being part of the Tenafly Tigers Marching Band, writing a plethora of creative stories, and watching the news. She aspires to be an international attorney someday.