(Fassūta) About 30 rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel on Thursday, injuring one person and causing material damage, the day after the violent irruption of the Israeli police in the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Israel and Lebanon remain technically in a state of war after various conflicts, and their border is controlled by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), deployed in southern Lebanon to ensure the maintenance of the ceasefire between the two countries.
According to ANI, the official Lebanese agency, Israeli artillery fired “several shells from its border positions” at the outskirts of two villages in southern Lebanon, after the launch of “several Katyusha-type rockets” at Israel.
The Israeli army claims for its part that “34 rockets were fired from Lebanon, of which 5 fell in Israel and 25 were intercepted” by the anti-aircraft defense. Prior to that, warning sirens sounded in the town of Shlomi and Moshav Betzet in northern Israel as well as other localities in the region.
The location of the rockets is “under review”, the army adds, adding simply that these “statistics are not definitive”.
As of 4:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EST), no claims had been released for this shooting.
In Fassuta, a village in northern Israel, an AFP reporter saw a blackened rocket base lying on the roadway.
In Shlomi, AFP journalists saw shops riddled with impact after the explosion of a device that left its impact on the roadway.
Deeming “the current situation […] extremely serious”, UNIFIL appealed “for restraint and to avoid further escalation”.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “is continuously informed of the development of the situation and must carry out an assessment with the heads of the security agencies”, following which he will convene the restricted security cabinet, said his office.
According to the Israeli emergency services, a 19-year-old man was injured by shrapnel and a woman in her 60s suffered minor injuries while running for cover.
Earlier Thursday, the Lebanese armed Islamist movement Hezbollah, an ally of Iran, warned that it would support “any measures” that Palestinian groups might take against Israel after Wednesday’s violence in East Jerusalem at the mosque. Al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam.
“Hezbollah strongly denounces the Israeli occupation forces’ assault on Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and its attacks on worshipers,” Hezbollah said in a statement released Thursday morning.
“Hezbollah proclaims its full solidarity with the Palestinian people and the resistance movements (to Israel, editor’s note), and undertakes to support them in all measures they take to protect the faithful and the Al-Aqsa mosque and to dissuade the enemy from continuing his aggressions”, adds the text.
Hezbollah, the pet peeve of Israel and which effectively controls southern Lebanon, maintains good relations with the Palestinian movement Hamas, in power in Gaza, and with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Its secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, received officials from both parties in March, and the leader of Hamas, Ismaïl Haniyeh is currently in Lebanon.
Two rockets were fired Wednesday evening from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, following similar fire the previous night to which Israel responded with strikes, amid violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The last rocket fire from Lebanon towards Israel dates back to April 2022.
In 2006, the war between Israel and Hezbollah left more than 1,200 dead on the Lebanese side, mostly civilians, and 160 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.
The Shiite movement, considered a “terrorist organization” by many Western countries, is the only Lebanese faction to have retained its weaponry since the end of the Lebanon War (1975-1990).