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Rocket salvo from Lebanon targets Israel after Al-Aqsa clashes

Israel bombardment kills 2 journalists, another civilian: Lebanon state mediao defend itself' after rockets from Lebanon
Source: Video Screenshot

A barrage of rockets was fired from Lebanon at Israel on the Jewish Passover holiday Thursday, in the largest escalation along the frontier since Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in 2006.

Israel’s army said it had “identified 34 rockets that were fired from Lebanese territory into Israeli territory” and that 25 were intercepted by Israeli air defences.

“Five rockets landed in Israeli territory,” added the army statement that followed the attack, which was not immediately claimed by any group.

The rocket fire came just days after Israeli police drew widespread condemnation and warnings of retaliation from around the region for clashing with Palestinians inside Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque — Islam’s third-holiest site.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday was “receiving continuous updates about the security situation and will conduct an assessment with the heads of the security establishment”, his office said.

Israeli emergency services reported a man had been lightly wounded by shrapnel and a female was injured while running to a shelter.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon called for restraint.

“The current situation is extremely serious,” said the force which patrols the border area between the two countries that are technically still at war. “UNIFIL urges restraint and to avoid further escalation.”

Warning sirens sounded in the town of Shlomi and in Moshav Betzet and the Galilee in northern Israel, the army said.

The Israeli military denied to AFP that it had retaliated “thus far”, in response to reports from Lebanon’s National News Agency that Israel had struck targets in southern Lebanon.

According to the Lebanon report, Israeli artillery fired “several shells from its positions on the border” towards the outskirts of two villages after the launch of “several Katyusha type rockets” at Israel.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant had been briefed on the details of the events on Israel’s northern border, a spokesman said. “The minister will soon conduct a situation assessment with senior officials in the defence establishment,” he added.

Inspecting his damaged office in the town of Shlomi, 46-year-old Shlomi Naaman told AFP: “I heard the siren, I heard the boom, I was in my home, it was very very scary.”

“I heard from other people that my office (had) taken damage from the rocket — the katyusha — and I came here and I saw all the damage,” he added.

– Al-Aqsa clashes –

Israeli riot police had on Wednesday stormed the prayer hall of Al-Aqsa mosque in a pre-dawn raid aiming to dislodge “law-breaking youths and masked agitators” they said had barricaded themselves inside.

The violence, during both the Jewish Passover and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, sparked an exchange of rockets and air strikes with militants in the Gaza Strip, with fears of further escalation.

Lebanon’s pro-Iranian armed movement Hezbollah had warned earlier Thursday it would support “all measures” that Palestinian groups may take against Israel after the clashes.

Shiite militant group Hezbollah is the only Lebanese faction that kept its weapons after the end of the country’s 1975-1990 civil war.

“Hezbollah forcefully denounces the assault carried out by the Israeli occupation forces against the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and its attacks on the faithful,” Hezbollah said in a statement.

Hezbollah, an arch foe of Israel, has close ties with the Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, and with the Islamic Jihad militant group, which is also based in the coastal enclave.

The rockets came a day after Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Lebanon for a visit.

A Hamas source told AFP that Haniyeh had cancelled a visit to the southern Lebanese city of Sidon scheduled for Thursday afternoon due to the “developments”.

The source added that Haniyeh was set to meet with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in the next 48 hours.

The last rocket fired from Lebanon into Israel was in April 2022.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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