Israel fires into Lebanon after rockets launched over border

An unverified picture posted on Twitter purports to show an Israeli counter-strike after rockets where fired from Lebanon. (Photo courtesy of Twitter)

Israel's army responded with artillery fire after rockets fired from Lebanon hit Israeli territory on Saturday and, Lebanese security sources and Israel’s military said, in the second such incident in two days.

“Initial reports indicate that at least two rockets fired from Lebanon hit open areas north of Nahariya. No damage or injuries, thus far,” an Israeli military statement said, adding that Israeli forces had fired artillery toward the source of the rocket fire, according to Reuters.

A Lebanese security source said three rockets had been fired from Lebanon.

Saturday's attack followed the launch of a Katyusha rocket from southern Lebanon into Israel early Friday, also without causing casualties or damage.

Israel had filed a complaint to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, which monitors the border between Lebanon and Israel, after Friday's attack, according to Agence France-Presse.

Military officials said they believed the attack was carried out by a small Palestinian group in an act of solidarity with militants from Gaza's Islamist Hamas movement engaged in a deadly confrontation with the Israeli army which began on Tuesday.

Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of Hezbollah, a Shi'ite Muslim group that battled Israel seven years ago and is engaged in Syria's civil war in support of President Bashar al-Assad; but there are also Palestinian groups in the same area.

Unclear influence

Palestinian militant group Hamas, battling with Israel from Gaza, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire from Lebanon, though it was unclear what kind of influence or presence the Islamist group had there.

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have launched hundreds of rockets into Israel since the start of an Israeli offensive five days ago and at least 125 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed.

On Friday rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel and drew Israeli artillery fire. Lebanese security forces arrested a man suspected of firing the projectiles, the national news agency said. He was Lebanese and a member of “fundamentalist groups”, the report said, without naming the groups.

It said he had admitted he had been accompanied by two Palestinians who were also members of these groups, and security forces were still searching for the pair.

The army said it had discovered two missile platforms with more rockets ready for launch after searching the area, and had dismantled them.

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Last Update: 06:42 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42
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