IDF images of an air strike on targets in Lebanon early Thursday

Israel Air Force strikes Lebanon launch sites after rocket fire on north

Military says first IAF raid on neighboring country in years targeted 'infrastructure used for terror,' warns such attacks against terror groups attempting to harm Israeli civilians will continue and even increase; U.S. State Department condemns rocket fire

Yoav Zitun, Reuters |
Updated: 08.05.21, 08:35
The Israel Air Force hit launch sites in south Lebanon early Thursday, the IDF said, in response to rocket fire hours earlier on northern Israel from Lebanese territory.
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  • This was the first IAF strike targeting Lebanon in years, after relative calm prevailed along the border since the 2006 Second Lebanon War fought against the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group.
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     תיעוד תקיפות צה"ל ברחבי גבול לבנון
     תיעוד תקיפות צה"ל ברחבי גבול לבנון
    IDF images of an air strike on targets in Lebanon early Thursday
    (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    An IDF spokesperson said Thursday that "fighter jets struck the launch sites and infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon."
    The military said its strikes would continue and even increase in response to terrorist attempts against Israel and its citizens and that the Lebanese state would be held responsible.
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    שריפה בשטח ישראל בעקבות הרקטות מלבנון
    שריפה בשטח ישראל בעקבות הרקטות מלבנון
    Fire caused by rocket fire from Lebanon on the Israeli side of the border on Wednesday
    Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said that Israeli warplanes had carried out two raids in the outskirts of the Lebanese town of Mahmudiya, about 12 km (7.5 miles) from the Israeli border.
    An additional target in the area that was a source of rocket fire in the recent past was also struck, the military said.
    The IDF said three rockets were launched from Lebanon shortly after noon Wednesday, with one falling short of Israeli territory and the other two striking inside Israel, close to the border city of Kiryat Shmona.
    The army initially responded with artillery fire as residents of the Kiryat Shmona area were told to enter their bomb shelters.
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    Smoke billows next to Kiryat Shmona following rocket fire from Lebanon, August 4, 2021
    Smoke billows next to Kiryat Shmona following rocket fire from Lebanon, August 4, 2021
    Smoke billows next to Kiryat Shmona following rocket fire from Lebanon, August 4, 2021
    (Photo: AFP)
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi held a situation assessment following the attack to discuss the possibility of intensifying the IDF response.
    Security officials assessed that the strike was carried out by Palestinian groups based in Lebanon, and not Hezbollah. It is unlikely, however, that the groups could operate without consent from Hezbollah, which controls much of the area close to the border with Israel.
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    IDF howitzers take up position next to Kiryat Shmona following rocket fire from Lebanon, August 4, 2021
    IDF howitzers take up position next to Kiryat Shmona following rocket fire from Lebanon, August 4, 2021
    IDF howitzers take up position next to Kiryat Shmona following rocket fire from Lebanon, August 4, 2021
    (Photo: AFP)
    Small Palestinian factions in Lebanon have fired sporadically on Israel in the past, including two rockets launched towards Israel in July.
    The U.S. State Department condemned the rocket fire on Israel and said Washington would engage with both Israel and Lebanon to "de-escalate" the situation along the border.
    "We absolutely condemn the rocket attacks from armed groups, based in Lebanon, that were fired into Israel," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday.
    First published: 07:19, 08.05.21
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