Rockets Fired Into Northern Israel from Lebanon

By Matthew Harwood

Both the governments of Israel and Lebanon downplayed rocket fire launched into nothern Israel from southern Lebanese territory today, as fears rise that a second front may open in the Gaza Strip conflict, which entered its 13th day.

According to The New York Times:

[T]he Israeli Army later dismissed the rockets on Thursday as “a minor event” and, in Lebanon, the government said Hezbollah had distanced itself from the attack. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora of Lebanon immediately condemned the rocket-fire. In a statement, Lebanese Information Minister Tarek Mitri said: “Hezbollah assured the Lebanese government that it remains engaged in preserving the stability in Lebanon and respects Security Council resolution 1701.”

Resolution 1701 ended the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel and led to the withdrawal of Israeli troops. Siniora criticized the rocket fire as a violation of the Security Council resolution.

One of at least three rockets fired hit a nursing home north of the Israeli town of Nahariya, wounding two and sending others into shock.

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In response, Israel fired five artillery shells in "a pinpoint response at the source of fire" but said the rocket attacks were "an isolated event," the BBC reports.

Raif Eitan, the Israeli cabinet minister, said he believes the rocket attacks were the work of Palestinians in southern Lebanon and not Hezbollah.

Nevertheless, tensions are rising. Yesterday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said he has readied his fighters along the Lebanese-Israeli borders in case conflict once again erupts between his organization and Israel.


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