Katyusha found in Lebanon
Photo: AP

Hizbullah says not behind rocket attack on north

Hizbullah minister denies group had anything to do with Wednesday's Katyusha fire on northern Israel. UNIFIL urges maximum restraint on both sides

The commander of a UN peacekeeping force urged Lebanon and Israel to exercise restraint after at least three rockets were fired into northern Israel from Lebanon on Wednesday.


The Lebanese government condemned the attack, the second launched from Lebanon against Israel since it began its offensive in the Gaza Strip on December 27. Information Minister Tareq Mitri said it "gave Israel an excuse to harm the national interest."


The army deployed additional forces in the south to boost its "defensive capabilities," a military source said.


Labor Minister Mohammed Fneish, the Hizbullah minister in government, denied that the Lebanese political and military group had anything to do with the attack.


"... we don't know who fired these rockets, we have nothing to do with it," Hizbullah's website quoted him as saying.


"For the Israeli enemy to exploit this accident in order to use its aggression against Lebanon, that is something we condemn, reject and don't accept," he said, referring to Israel's response with artillery fire.


UNIFIL chief urges restraint

The Lebanese army and members of the UN peacekeeping force, known as UNIFIL, also deactivated three rockets rigged to launch an hour after they had been found, the army said.


UNIFIL commander Major General Claudio Graziano urged maximum restraint after the early morning rocket salvo.


He was working with both Lebanon and Israel to maintain the cessation of hostilities, UNIFIL spokeswoman Yasmina Bouziane said in a statement. There had been no claims of responsibility for the rocket attack, she said.


Israel responded with two barrages of artillery fire. There were no reports of damage or injury caused by the Israeli shells, Bouziane said. The rockets fired from Lebanon landed in open areas and caused no damage or injuries, she added.


"At present, we cannot confirm the exact location of the launch area," she said.


There have been no claims of responsibility for the January 8 rocket attack from Lebanon.


פרסום ראשון: 01.15.09, 02:44
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