Rockets hit N Israel from Lebanon, Israel returns fire 2009-01-08 14:00:49   Print

Special report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts

°§Several rockets pounded northern Israel Thursday morning, causing several light injuries.
°§In a quick response, Israel fired mortars across the border shortly after the rocket attack.
°§Hezbollah has no immediate comment.

An Israeli woman stands against the wall after a rocket fired from Lebanon landed in the northern city of Naharia Jan. 8, 2009.

An Israeli woman stands against the wall after a rocket fired from Lebanon landed in the northern city of Naharia Jan. 8, 2009. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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    JERUSALEM, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Several rockets pounded northern Israel Thursday morning, causing several light injuries and Israeli forces fought back shortly by firing mortars across the border, Israeli sources said.

    Explosions were heard in northern Israel, caused probably by rockets from neighboring Lebanon and several people were lightly wounded. Israeli TV reported.

    It was still unclear whether the rockets were fired by Hezbollah or by Palestinian organizations in Lebanon acting in solidarity with Hamas, which denied Thursday that it was responsible for firing rockets into northern Israel from south Lebanon.

    Residents of the western Galilee bordering Lebanon were quoted as saying that at least three rockets hit their communities, with one falling close to the town of Nahariya.

    Israeli police have ordered the residents there to remain close to the fortified areas, and school has been closed in the region.

    In a quick response, Israel fired mortars across the border shortly after the rocket attack, both Israeli and Lebanese security sources said.

    An Israeli military spokesman said Israeli mortars were targeted at "the source of fire." Five artillery shells were reportedly fired by Israeli side.

    A Lebanese security source confirmed the news.

    The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it is investigating these incidents. Assessments by the IDF Northern Command indicated that the barrage was likely to have been fired by Palestinian groups, though it could not be ruled out whether Hezbollah might have told them to fire, The Jerusalem Post reported.

    During the Gaza offensive, the Israeli army and police have also been on high alert in the north, amid fears that the Lebanese Hezbollah movement might launch attacks.

A man takes a picture of the damaged roof after a rocket fired from Lebanon landed in the northern Israeli city of Naharia Jan. 8, 2009.

A man takes a picture of the damaged roof after a rocket fired from Lebanon landed in the northern Israeli city of Naharia Jan. 8, 2009. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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    Israel has warned the group that should it ignite a second front, Israel would retaliate massively.

    On Wednesday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that the IDF could not destroy Hamas and that his group would crush any assault Israel might carry out against it.

    The rocket attack from southern Lebanon was the first since the Jewish state launched on Dec. 27 its offensive against Palestinian militants in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

    Weeks earlier, several rockets were discovered in southern Lebanon aimed at Israel and ready to fire, prompting UN peacekeepers and Lebanese troops to step up patrols along the border with Israel.

    The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Lebanese army "have deployed additional troops and intensified patrols and security control of the area," local news service Ynet quoted UNIFIL spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane as saying.

    The UNIFIL commander is in contact with senior Lebanese and Israeli military officials, she added.

    Israel and the Hezbollah guerrillas went into a month-long war in 2006, which left over a thousand people dead and a million displaced.

Hezbollah says not responsible for rocket attack

    BEIRUT, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Hezbollah informed the Lebanese cabinet that it was not involved in rocket attack on northern Israel; al-Jazeera TV quoted Lebanese Information Minister Tareq Mitri as saying Thursday.

    Hezbollah had adopted the stand of the Lebanese cabinet which is keen on sparing Lebanon from any escalation with Israel.   Full story

Blast heard in N Israel after earlier rocket attacks

    JERUSALEM, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Blast was heard after an air raid siren sounded in northern Israel on Thursday morning, shortly after three rockets pounded the area.

    Eyewitnesses said that a rocket landed near a kibbutz in the Western Galilee, causing no injuries or damage, while the police said that despite the explosion sound, no rocket landing sites has been detected.  Full story

Four Israelis injured by rockets launched from southern Lebanon

    BEIRUT, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Four Israelis were wounded Thursday morning by rockets launched from southern Lebanon on northern Israeli towns of Naharia and Galeli, pan-Arab al-Jazeera TV reported.

    In response, the Israeli army shelled Hamra, al-Jiben, and Tayr Harfa towns in southern Lebanon, from where the rockets were launched.   Full story

Lebanese official: Rocket attack on Israel violates UN resolution

    BEIRUT, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- A Lebanese official said the rocket attack on northern Israel was a violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701, Saudi Arabian al-Arabiya TV reported Thursday.

    UN resolution 1701 ended the 34-day war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006, and prohibited any attacks from Lebanon on Israel.   Full story

Israeli warplanes intensify flights over western sector of S Lebanon

    BEIRUT, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Israeli warplanes are carrying out intensive flights over the western sector in southern Lebanon, pan-Arab al-Jazeera TV reported Thursday.

    The Lebanese army is searching the area where the Katyusha rockets were launched on Thursday morning against Israel, while UN troops intensified patrols in southern Lebanon.

    Schools in southern Lebanese towns bordering Israel were closed.  Full story

Lebanon not to drag into war in Gaza: minister

    BEIRUT, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese Information Minister Tareq Mitri told foreign press Monday that all factions in the Lebanese cabinet insist on not dragging the country into a war with Israel.

    "There is a united stand in the government which insists on stability in the country," Mitri said.

    He added that there was no "sign that Hezbollah would jeopardize to drag Lebanon into this conflict."  Full story

Lebanese speaker:Aggression against Gaza is aggression against every Arab city

    BEIRUT, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said Sunday that Israel's current aggression against Gaza Strip, "amid Arab silence," is targeting every Arab city, NBN TV reported.

    Addressing visitors at his home town Msayleh, in south Lebanon, the Shiite parliament speaker stressed that those who took the Palestinian case to the UN should have known that Israel is above all international resolutions.  Full story

Lebanon sends humanitarian aids to Gaza via Jordan

    AMMAN, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- A Lebanese relief plane Sunday arrived at Jordan's capital of Amman to send humanitarian aids to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, said a Jordanian charity group.

    The plane, which carried 20 tons of medicine, medical supplies, and blankets, was received by the Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO).   Full story

Editor: Chris
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