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Hezbollah Launches Record Missile Volley at Israel After Commander's Killing, Hamas Kills Ceasefire Plan

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JERUSALEM, Israel – Northern Israel came under its worst Hezbollah attack since the start of the Gaza war Wednesday as Hamas made outlandish counter-proposals to the latest ceasefire deal proposed by the U.S., in effect rejecting it.

While Israelis celebrated the biblical holiday of Shavuot, Hezbollah launched more than 200 rockets at communities in northern Israel – a new daily record. It was even bigger than the volleys that hit Israel during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

The Israeli Air Force struck a major Hezbollah command center Tuesday in southern Lebanon which killed one of the terror group's most senior leaders, Sami Taleb Abdullah. He had spent many years launching attacks aimed at Israeli citizens.

Senior Hezbollah official Hisham Safieddine said after Talib's killing, "Our definitive and inevitable response to this foolish act will be a dramatic increase in the intensity, strength, quantity, and quality of our operations."

Safieddine added another threat: "If the Israelis are crying about what happens to them in the north, they should prepare to wail and weep soon."

Hezbollah has hit northern Israel almost every day since its fellow Iranian proxy, Hamas, launched the deadly October 7th attack on Israel.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security assessment with heads of Israel's military, security, and emergency services late Wednesday over the situation in northern Israel as well as the Hamas response to the latest ceasefire deal.

It appears Hamas has scuttled chances for the deal with new demands Israel can't accept.  

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken came to the region to pressure Hamas and Israel. He's now blaming the terror group for sinking the deal everyone else was ready to accept.

He called it, "A deal that the entire world is behind, a deal Israel has accepted and Hamas could have answered with a single word, 'yes.' Instead, Hamas waited nearly two weeks and then proposed more changes, a number of which go beyond positions it had previously taken and accepted."

The deal had been divided into clear phases, A, B, and C.

Hamas added a demand that the war end permanently in Phase A and that it would end before Hamas releases the hostages it holds. The terror group won't even guarantee it will release all of the hostages.

Blinken claims a "day after" plan for the war is critical to manage governance, security, and reconstruction.

"And ultimately," he observed, "it may not be the path that Hamas wants to pursue; but Hamas cannot and will not be allowed to decide the future for this region, its people."

Meanwhile, the recently rescued hostages are revealing more about their ordeal. According to reports, the three men said they were held in a dark room for six months, were beaten by their guards, and were locked in the bathroom and covered with blankets in sweltering weather.

Nevertheless, Andrey Kozlov's father Mikhail says his son seems to be the same as he was, and talks optimistically.

"Although he said there were some things that he would never tell us that happened to him. But he talks about the things he talks about with a lot of humor," the elder Kozlov said.

As temperatures soar in Israel and Gaza, 120 hostages still remain in Hamas captivity. Approximately 80 are believed to be alive.

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and