Israel launches retaliatory strikes against Lebanon after rocket fire
“In response, (Israeli) artillery forces attacked Lebanese territory,” the army said. About two hours after the initial bombardment, the army said its artillery had again fired at targets, which it did not identify, along the border.
The Lebanese army said that Israeli retaliatory attacks, which spread to several villages in southern Lebanon, caused a fire in the town of Rashaya al-Fokhar. He was investigating to find out who had fired the rockets from Lebanon.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon said its Chief of Mission and Force Commander, Major-General Stefano Del Col, was in contact with both sides.
“He urged them to cease fire and exercise the utmost restraint to avoid further escalation, especially on this solemn anniversary,” the statement said, referring to the Beirut port explosion on August 4 last year.
The border has been mostly quiet since Israel fought a war in 2006 against Hezbollah, which has advanced rockets.
But small Palestinian factions in Lebanon have fired sporadically at Israel in the past, and two rockets were fired at Israel on July 20, causing no damage or injury. Israel responded to that incident with artillery fire.
The latest border incidents came after an attack last Thursday, which Israel blamed on Iran, on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman. Two crew members died, a British and a Romanian. Iran has denied any involvement.
At a briefing of ambassadors of UN Security Council countries in Israel on Wednesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: “It is time for diplomatic, economic and even military action (against Iran); otherwise, the attacks will continue. “
On Tuesday, Britain, Romania and Liberia told the United Nations Security Council that it was “very likely” that Iran would use one or more drones to attack the ship.
The United States and the United Kingdom said Sunday they would work with their allies to respond to the attack. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that Israel kept open the option of acting only against Iran if necessary.
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