Katyusha rocket found in southern Lebanon two weeks ago
Photo: AP

IDF shells rocket launching sites in Lebanon

Army responds with artillery fire to Katyusha barrage on northern Israel Thursday morning and is ready for possibility of escalation in region. Security sources believe pro-Palestinian Lebanese group behind attack

The IDF shelled the areas in southern Lebanon from which Katyusha rockets were fired at Israel's north Thursday morning. There were no initial reports of injuries.


Military sources estimated that the attack was carried out by a Palestinian organization and not by Hizbullah, in light of the type of rockets used.


However, Rafat Mora, a Hamas spokesman in Lebanon, said Thursday that his organization was not involved in the Katyusha fire.


"We are not accusing any of the Palestinian factions of the shooting and we don’t know who fired on Israel." 


The Northern Command convened for an urgent meeting to evaluate the situation, and will discuss the possibility that the region could flare up if the armed groups in Lebanon decide to launch attacks to show their solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza.


Senior intelligence officers, headed by IDF Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, warned this week that Hizbullah or another pro-Palestinian Lebanese organization might attempt to open a second front against Israel in light of the fighting in the Strip.


The army is preparing for two possible scenarios in the region: The first – an attempt to carry out an attack on the border fence; and the second – Katyusha attacks on Israel.


Following these estimates, the army has recently decided to raise the alert level in the north and boost forces on the border.


The possibility for an escalation in the north was also taken into consideration during the massive reserve call-up held about a week ago. Some of the reserves have trained at the Northern Command's training base and are ready to take part in the fighting should the situation deteriorate.


Sharon Roffe-Ofir contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 01.08.09, 09:10
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