(Beirut) A major Hezbollah military commander was killed Tuesday evening in an Israeli strike in southern Lebanon, the Lebanese Shiite movement allied with Palestinian Hamas confirmed.

The commander is Sami Abdallah, alias Abu Taleb, Hezbollah said in a statement.

“It is with great pride and honor that the Islamic Resistance announces the martyrdom of Commander Taleb Sami Abdallah, known as “Hajj Abu Taleb”, born in 1969 in the town of Adchit in southern Lebanon, who rode as a martyr on the road to Jerusalem,” the movement wrote.

According to a Lebanese military source, the airstrike took place in the town of Jouaiyya, about 15 km from the Israeli border, and caused the deaths of three people in addition to the commander.

The commander “is the most important Hezbollah to be killed so far since the start of the war,” said this source, without specifying the identity of this fighter.

Exchanges of fire between the Israeli army and Hezbollah have increased in intensity in recent days, in the midst of the war in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Palestinian Hamas.

More than eight months of violence have left at least 458 people dead in Lebanon, including around 90 civilians and nearly 300 Hezbollah fighters, according to an AFP count. On the Israeli side, at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians were killed, according to the authorities.

On both sides of the border, tens of thousands of residents have been displaced by the incessant fighting.