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UAV shot down at Israel-Jordan border; Rockets fired from Lebanon

CM 18/05/2021 2

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The IDF shot down a UAV that was approaching the Israeli-Jordanian border on Tuesday, travelling towards the Emek HaMa’ayanot Regional Council in northern Israel, military officials said.IDF units collected the fragments of the destroyed aircraft for further examination. It was not clear who was operating the UAV or where it took off from.Yesterday, fearing a possible breach of the Israeli-Jordanian border, residents of Beit She’an – which sits within the Emek HaMa’ayanot Regional Council –  were instructed to lock themselves in their homes for nearly an hour, before IDF forces announced the area had been secured, and that it was again safe to leave their homes.

Three suspects were observed in the Beit Yosef area near Beit She’an on Monday, fueling the IDF warnings. KAN News reported that a breach in the border fence was identified.On Sunday, two Jordanians crossed the border into Israel armed with knives and were stopped in the northern town of Gilboa, police officials said.Friday, on the Jordanian side of the border, demonstrators supporting the Palestinians tried to break through to reach Israel and the West Bank.

Overnight, Sirens were sounded around midnight 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 appeared to have fallen short of the border and landed inside Lebanese territory, the IDF Spokesperson’s said. However, it added that one of the rockets may have crossed. The IDF fired back towards the source of the rocket launch in Lebanon with tank and artillery shells. 

The IDF responded that Palestinian groups north of Har Dov and not Hezbollah were responsible for the rockets and that rocket fire like this could continue. It was not specified for how long.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 terrorists 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.In line with the illegal crossings from Jordan, a Hezbollah member was killed by IDF fire on Friday when protesters tried to storm the border with Lebanon and Israel as anger boils in the Arab world over the latest violence between Israel and Hamas.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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