IDF troops shell southern Lebanon on Friday in response to a massive rocket barrage in northern Israel

Israel: Hezbollah fired at open areas, we have no desire to escalate

IDF spokesman says Iranian-backed group had deliberately avoided populated areas 'in attempt to show that it controls southern Lebanon region after rogue Palestinian faction fired at Israel on Wednesday'; says Lebanese army seized launcher responsible for barrage

Yoav Zitun, Liad Osmo, Ahiya Raved |
Published: 08.06.21, 13:34
Israel said Friday that it had no wish for an escalation on the northern border after Hezbollah fired a barrage of rockets from Lebanon in what it called retaliation for an IAF strike in the early hours of Thursday.
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  • Speaking to the media following a meeting between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and other security officials, an army spokesman said that Hezbollah had deliberately fired the rockets at open areas and not populated cities like Kiryat Shmona.
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    תקיפה צהלית לעבר לבנון
    תקיפה צהלית לעבר לבנון
    IDF troops shell southern Lebanon on Friday in response to a massive rocket barrage in northern Israel
    (Photo: AFP )
    "This is the terror group's attempt to show that it controls the region in southern Lebanon after a rogue Palestinian faction fired rockets at Israel on Wednesday," the spokesman said, referring to an attack in the Kiryat Shmona area two days earlier that led to the IAF strike.
    "We have no interest in intensifying the conflict or in starting a war, but we will not let the border area become an active front line," he said, adding that the IDF will maintain its superiority in the air over southern Lebanon.
    The spokesman also said that the Lebanese army had seized the rocket launcher responsible for the barrage.
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    יירוטים ברמת הגולן
    יירוטים ברמת הגולן
    Iron Dome intercepts rockets from southern Lebanon over the Golan Heights on Friday
    (Photo: Hadashot Bzman)
    Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the heavy salvo fired at the Mount Dov area shortly before 11am Friday. The Iron Dome missile defense system knocked many of the rockets out of the sky while several landed in open areas.
    There were no injuries or damage reported in the barrage that set off sirens in the areas of Ein Qiniyye, Neve Ativ and Snir. Residents in the area reported smoke rising in the Hermon region and locals caught some of the Iron Dome interceptions on video.
    The IDF responded with artillery fire at the sources of the rocket launches. The military said that communities in the area were continuing with their normal routine but bomb shelters that were opened after the first barrage on Wednesday remained open. Residents of the Golan Heights were not issued any specific security instructions.
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     שיגורים מדרום לבנון
     שיגורים מדרום לבנון
    Rockets fired from southern Lebanon at Israel on Friday
    (Photo: Hadashot Bzman)
    Lebanese media reports said that the rockets were fired from the al-Arqoub area in southern Lebanon, close to the city of Natabiyeh.
    "Islamic Resistance in Lebanon has launched 122mm rockets at IDF outposts in the Shebaa Farms area," Hezbollah said Friday, referring to itself and the Mount Dov region.
    "The launch comes in response to Israel Air Force attacks in open areas of southern Lebanon on Thursday," it said.
    The UN peacekeeping force deployed along the border said Friday it ha detected rocket launches from Lebanon, and return artillery fire by Israel.
    "This is a very serious situation and we urge all parties to cease fire," the force known as UNIFIL said.
    4 View gallery
     שיגורים מדרום לבנון
     שיגורים מדרום לבנון
    Rocket fire from southern Lebanon on Friday
    (Photo: Hadashot Bzman)
    The barrage on Wednesday saw two rockets strike open areas close to the border city of Kiryat Shmona shortly after noon. A third failed to reach Israeli territory. Security officials said at the time that the rockets had been fired by Palestinian groups in southern Lebanon.
    The IDF initially responded with artillery fire and hours later launched the first airstrikes on Lebanese territory in eight years.
    An IDF spokesperson said Thursday that "fighter jets struck the launch sites and infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon."
    It warned that the strikes would continue and even increase in response to terrorist attacks on Israel and said the Lebanese government would be held responsible.

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