Two missiles fired from southern Lebanon exploded in northern Israel, prompting the Israeli military to hit back with about 20 artillery shells, an army spokesman said.
“The Israeli artillery responded to the Sunday rocket attacks from Lebanon against Israel that left no victims, targeting the area where these projectiles were fired from,” an army spokesman told the AFP news agency.
The Katyusha-style rockets landed in a field west of the town of Kyriat Shmona, without causing any casualties or damage, Israeli military radio reported.
Soldiers from the United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon and the Lebanese Army conducted a search of the area on Sunday after the rockets were fired.
‘Test our patience’
Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel “would not tolerate” such attacks and held the Lebanese government and army responsible for any fire coming from its territory.
“We will not allow incidents such as those of this morning to pass quietly,” Yaalon said in a statement. “I would not recommend to anyone to test our patience and our determination to protect the security of the people of Israel.”
Tension has spiked on the border between the two countries since Lebanese troops gunned down an Israeli soldier driving near the frontier on December 16.
Israel’s border with Lebanon has been largely quiet since the 2006 war with the Shia political party and armed group Hezbollah.
The last time a soldier was killed there was in August 2010, when two Lebanese soldiers and a journalist also died.
In August, four Israeli soldiers were wounded by an explosion about 400m inside Lebanese territory, in a blast claimed by Hezbollah.
Last week, Hezbollah said one of its top leaders was killed near Beirut and blamed Israel for his murder, a charge denied by Israel, which warned against any retaliation.