Israeli forces fire artillery shells into southern Lebanon

Israel says the move came after a rocket was fired from southern Lebanon, landing in an open area across the border.

An Israeli artillery gun fires a shell into Lebanon on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border
An Israeli artillery gun fires a shell into Lebanon on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border [File: Gil Eliyahu/Reuters]

Beirut, Lebanon – Israeli forces have fired dozens of artillery shells into southern Lebanon, after a rocket was launched over the border from Lebanon.

An Israeli military spokesperson tweeted that artillery forces bombarded open areas in southern Lebanon where the rocket came from, as well as an infrastructural target.

The Lebanese Army said in a statement that Israeli forces had launched 50 artillery shells into several Lebanese towns near the southern border with Israel.

Additionally, according to Lebanese media, UN peacekeeping forces (UNIFIL) in the country’s south sounded sirens along several of its positions near the border, while the Lebanese Army deployed troops.

UNIFIL Head of Mission Commander Aroldo Lázaro called for “calm and restraint” in a tweet.

In a statement released later Lázaro called Israeli response “disproportionate”. He called on all parties to avoid further escalation.

“Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Aroldo Lázaro was in immediate contact with authorities on both sides of the Blue Line to urge restraint,” the statement said. “Nonetheless, the Israel Defense Forces fired back several dozen shells into Lebanon.”

No injuries or casualties have been reported on either side of the border.

It was not clear which group in Lebanon was behind the rocket attack.

The incident takes place as tensions have flared in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in recent weeks after Israeli forces raided Al-Aqsa compound – Islam’s third holiest site – several times during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan triggering protests across Palestinian territories, including besieged Gaza.

In the last two weeks 16 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed.

Israeli warplanes carried out attacks in Gaza Strip twice last week after a rocket was fired from the besieged enclave, which has been under an Israeli-imposed land, sea and air blockade since 2007.

Source: Al Jazeera