Hizbullah steps up attacks: Hizbullah steps up attacks: For the first time since the fighting in the north began 17 days ago, Hizbullah launched five Pajr-5 missiles at Israel Friday afternoon. Police officials said that long-range missiles of this type can carry a larger amount of explosives than the rockets that had been fired at Israel so far. A short while later, the IDF reported it had destroyed the rocket launcher used for firing the missiles.
The missiles landed in open areas between Afula and the Beit Shean Valley, causing no injuries.
A short while later sirens were heard in the Haifa and Krayot area and residents were ordered into shelters and protected areas. Some rockets landed in open areas near Haifa. In a separate barrage a rocket landed in Nahariya, hitting a vehicle that immediately caught fire. Another rocket struck a public building in town and damaged it. No injuries were reported in the attacks.
Up until today, in 17 days of fighting, dozens of 22o millimeter-diameter rockets were fired at Israel, including several Pajar-3 rockets. A police official said earlier that the missiles that landed in Afula today were "of an unknown type, something between the Fajr-3 and the Zilzal missile." However, sappers that were dispatched to the place examined the missiles and reported they were Fajr-5 missiles equipped with 100-kilograms of explosives each.
Ynet has learned that some of the rockets fired in the barrages on the Western Galilee on Thursday included 220 millimeter-diameter rockets. Up until now Hizbullah had launched these rockets only at Haifa. One of them had hit a train depot and killed eight employees at the place.
Rockets hit Ma'alot Friday noon (Photo: Shlomo Sharvit)
The missiles that were located near Afula are equipped with more explosives and can travel to longer distances than the rockets used until now. Security officials that arrived at the missiles' landing site said they have never encountered such missiles before. They claimed that Hizbullah may have been trying to land the missiles in the Hadera or Netanya region, but that due to the IDF's operation in southern Lebanon, launch cells were forced deeper into Lebanese territory and pushed away from the border.
According to the officials, due to the large distance, the missile – which was aimed at Haifa, landed in an area near Afula instead.
In a statement issued by Hizbullah Friday afternoon, the organization said that it fired a rocket barrage at several targets in northern Israel. In addition, the organization published a message that was sent by its gunmen to their leader Hassan Nasrallah, in which they vow to "stand firm along Palestine's border."
Rockets on north
Shortly after the missiles landed in Afula, four rockets landed in and around Nahariya. Three of the rockets landed in open areas and one hit a vehicle that immediately caught fire. Rescue teams and firefighter were dispatched to the scene and are working to extinguish the flames.
Two people were lightly to moderately wounded when four rockets fired by Hizbullah from south Lebanon hit a residential neighborhood in Kiryat Shmona at around 14:30 p.m.
Four vehicles caught fire and a number of people suffered shock. Additionally, rockets landed in open areas near Carmiel, Maalot and Rosh Pina, incurring no casualties.
Following the rocket strikes a number of fires ignited which fire fighting crews were working to extinguish.
Roee Nahmias, Hagai Einav, Raanan Ben-Zur and Ahiya Raved contributed to the report