Israel launches air strikes in Lebanon in response to rockets
Israel has stepped up its response to the rocket attacks this week by launching airstrikes on Lebanon, the IDF said.
The military said in a statement that planes hit the launch sites from which rockets had been fired the day before, as well as an additional target used to attack Israel in the past. Several militant groups operate in Lebanon but none has claimed responsibility.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) alleged that the Lebanese state was responsible for the bombing and warned “against further attempts to harm Israeli civilians and Israel’s sovereignty.”
The nightly airstrikes were a marked escalation at a politically sensitive time. Israel’s new eight-party government coalition maintains a fragile ceasefire that ended an 11-day war with militant Hamas leaders in Gaza in May.
Several incidents leading up to this week’s rocket fire from Lebanon drew attention to Israel’s northern border, and the United States quickly condemned the attacks on Israel.
Hezbollah-owned al-Manar TV channel reported the strikes at around 2 a.m., saying they hit an empty area in Mahmoudiya village in Marjayoun district.
Avichai Adraee, the Arab-language spokesperson for the IDF, said the Lebanese government was responsible for what happened in its territories and warned of further attacks on Israel from southern Lebanon. .
Three rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory on Wednesday and the military responded with sustained artillery fire, the IDF said. The announcement came after sirens sounded in northern Israel to warn of a possible rocket attack. Two rockets landed inside Israeli territory, the army said.
An iron dome
Channel 12 reported that a rocket exploded in an open area and another was intercepted by Israel’s defense system, known as the Iron Dome. Israeli media reported that the incoming rockets set off fires near Kiryat Shmona, a community of around 20,000 people near the Lebanese border.
The Lebanese army reported that 92 artillery shells were fired by Israel at Lebanese villages following rocket fire from Lebanon. He said that Israeli artillery shelling caused a fire in the village of Rashaya al-Fukhar. In a statement, the Lebanese military also said it was carrying out patrols in the border region and had set up a number of checkpoints and opened an investigation to determine the source of the rocket fire.
Lebanese security officials did not immediately confirm the Israeli airstrikes. There have been several similar incidents in recent months.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price condemned the rocket attacks from Lebanon.
“Israel has the right to defend itself against such attacks,” he told reporters in Washington, adding that the United States would remain engaged with its partners in the region “with the aim of defusing the situation.”
At the United Nations, spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon known as Unifil was aware of the rocket fire and the artillery response Israeli. He said Unifil’s commander Major-General Stefano Del Col called for a ceasefire and urged both sides to “exercise maximum restraint to avoid further escalation”. – Guardian