Things are heating up on the Israel-Lebanon border as Israel launched airstrikes on Lebanon on Thursday in response to rocket from the territory. The strikes are the first on Lebanon since the 34-day Israel-Hezbollah war in 2006. This development came a day after Lebanon marked the first anniversary of the deadly Beirut explosion.
Israeli Aircraft Strike Rocket Launch Sites in Lebanon
According to AP, the Israeli army said in a statement that jets struck the launch sites from which rockets had been fired over the previous day, as well as an additional target used to attack Israel in the past.
The Israel Defense Forces has held Lebanon responsible for the attack in Israel and warned "against further attempts to harm Israeli civilians and Israel's sovereignty."
The Lebanese military reported 92 artillery shells fired by Israel on Lebanese villages as a result of the rocket fire from Lebanon. It said the Israeli artillery shelling resulted in a fire in the village of Rashaya al-Fukhar.
In a statement, the Lebanese army also said it was conducting patrols in the border region and had set up a number of checkpoints and opened an investigation to determine the source of the rocket fire.
3 Rockets Were Fired from Lebanon into Israeli Territory on Wednesday
Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon were in response to earlier projectile fire towards Israel from Lebanese territory.
Three rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory on Wednesday and the army responded with sustained artillery fire, Israel's military said. Two rockets landed inside Israeli territory, the army said, according to AP.
Channel 12 reported that one rocket exploded in an open area and another was intercepted by Israel's defense system, known as the Iron Dome. Israeli media reported that the incoming rockets started fires near Kiryat Shmona, a community of about 20,000 people near the Lebanese border.
There was no claim of responsibility for the rocket strike, launched from an area of south Lebanon under the sway of Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas. There were no casualties, according to Reuters.
However, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Twitter said: "Not only is rocket fire from Lebanon at Israeli civilians an act of terrorism, it also is indicative of the Lebanese government's lack of governance of terrorist organizations operating in Lebanon. The Lebanese government is responsible for all attacks from Lebanon."
The 2006 War Failed to Neutralize Hezbollah's Rocket Threat
The border has been mostly quiet since Israel fought a 2006 war against Hezbollah, which has advanced rockets. But small Palestinian factions in Lebanon have fired sporadically on Israel in the past, including two rockets launched towards Israel in July, reported Reuters.
The 2006 IsraelâHezbollah War was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, Northern Israel and the Golan Heights. The principal parties were Hezbollah paramilitary forces and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
In the war, some 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and around 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers, lost their lives. Hezbollah claimed the war was a 'Divine Victory', whereas Israel generally considered the war a failure and a missed opportunity as it failed to neutralize the militant group's rocket threat.