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Rockets fired from Lebanon towards Israel miss border; IDF retaliates

CM 17/05/2021

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Sirens were sounded late Monday night in Israel’s Upper Galilee communities near the Lebanese border, as residents from the Misgav Am and Metulla area reported hearing sounds of an explosion. 

Six rockets were launched from Rashaya Al Foukhar north of Kfar Choub in southern Lebanon, all of which fell short of the border and landed inside Lebanese territory, the IDF said. The IDF fired back towards the source of the rocket launch in Lebanon. A Lebanese security source said that about 22 shells were fired by Israeli artillery towards Lebanese territory.

There were no reports of casualties or damage, and the shelling did not appear to signal the opening of a new front in Israel’s fighting with militants in the Gaza Strip.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the UN body tasked with manning the border, tweeted late Monday night that the region is in a state of “calm” after the fire exchange, adding that it has enhanced security patrols of the border. 
UNIFIL added that immediately after the fire exchange occurred, UNIFIL head Stefano Del Col contacted both parties, urging the exercise of “maximum restraint in order to prevent any escalation of the situation.” 

“The IDF has now stopped the fire,” UNIFIL added.

The mission said it is supporting the Lebanese army in the search operation in the area and has intensified patrols “to prevent any further incidents that endanger the safety of the local population and the security of southern Lebanon.”
“UNIFIL Head of Mission remains in contact with the parties to ensure stability in the area and decrease existing tension,” it said.
It added: “The situation in the area is now calm.”

This was the second incident of cross-border fire within this past week. On Thursday, three rockets were launched from Lebanon toward northern Israel but landed in the Mediterranean Sea, causing no damage or casualties.

Israel fought a 2006 war against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon who have sway in southern Lebanon, as well as advanced rockets. The border has been mostly quiet since then.
Small Palestinian factions in Lebanon have fired sporadically on Israel in the past. 

As a result of the incident, bomb shelters have opened in northern communities located within 0.4km of the border, N12 said, though the communities were not urged to enter the shelters or interrupt their daily routines. Additionally, the IDF shot light flares into the air along the Lebanese border to verify that there were no infiltration attempts, N12 added.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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