Israel conducts first Lebanon strikes in seven years – News Vibe24

    Israel conducts first Lebanon strikes in seven years - Times of India
    JERUSALEM: The Israeli air force says it has carried out its first air strikes on neighboring Lebanon in seven years on Thursday, after the second day of missiles crossing the border.
    Lebanon condemned the strikes as an “escalation” that could signal a change of tactics from Israel, while UN peacekeepers called for restraint.
    “Earlier today (Thursday), rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory,” the Israeli air force wrote on Twitter.
    “In response … fighter jets hit the launch sites and the infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon, from where the rockets were fired.
    “An additional target in the area from which rockets were fired in the past was also hit.”
    Israeli warplanes regularly hit Palestinian fighter jets in Gaza and suspected Hezbollah or Iranian targets in Syria, but this was the first time since 2014 that they had hit targets in Lebanon, the air force confirmed.
    Lebanese Al-Manar television, which is run by a powerful Shiite militant group Hezbollah, reported that Israeli warplanes carried out two attacks around 12:40 a.m. (2145 GMT) outside the city of Mahmoudia, about 11 kilometers (seven miles) from borders.
    The official Lebanese National News Agency also reported the attacks, but gave few details.
    Lebanese President Michel Aoun has said that “Israel’s use of its air force to target Lebanese villages is the first of its kind since 2006 and proposes an intention to escalate attacks” against Lebanon.
    Israeli warplanes last struck Lebanese territory near the border with Syria in 2014, but have not targeted Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon since the fighters fought in a devastating clash with Israel in 2006.
    Thursday was the second day in a row that Israel had reported missiles from Lebanon.
    Three rockets were fired Wednesday, two of which landed in Israel, hitting near the northern city of Kiryat Simona, where four people were being treated for “stress symptoms”.
    In response to this attack, the Israeli army carried out three rounds of retaliatory bombardment of southern Lebanon.
    It caused multiple brush fires in dry conditions, but there were no reports of casualties.
    The Lebanese army says 92 artillery shells fired by Israel landed in southern Lebanon after rockets were fired Wednesday.
    He said he was investigating who fired the rockets.
    The exchange took place as thousands of sad Lebanese marked the first anniversary of a catastrophic explosion in the port of Beirut that killed at least 214 people and irreparably scattered the nation’s soul.
    The then government resigned in the face of a wave of popular anger, but a year later, despite the worsening economic collapse, no replacement administration was formed.
    Israel has repeatedly warned that it will not allow the power vacuum in Beirut to undermine security on its northern border.
    The military has said it “holds the Lebanese state responsible for all actions coming from its territory and warns of further attempts to harm Israeli civilians and Israeli sovereignty.”
    The United Nations peacekeeping force UNIFIL, which has been deployed in Lebanon since 1978 and has been patrolling the border since the 2006 conflict, has called for restraint on all sides.
    “The head of the UNIFIL mission and commander of the force, General Stefano Del Cole, was in direct contact with the parties,” the force said in a statement Wednesday.
    “He urged them to stop the fire and show maximum restraint to avoid further escalation, especially on this solemn anniversary.
    “It is imperative that stability be restored immediately so that UNIFIL can begin its investigation.”

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