Netanyahu: Lebanon Accountable for Rocket on Israel

Lebanese daily reports that UNIFIL forces in southern Lebanon were warned of a possible attack.

Israel holds the Lebanese government accountable for Friday's rocket attacks on northern Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

Two rockets launched from Lebanon hit open areas in the Western Galilee on Friday. An Israel Defense Forces artillery unit shot back at the launch area, firing some 12 artillery shells. No casualties or damage were reported on either side.

"It is clear that this firing was from south of the Litani River, in complete contravention of UN Resolution 1701," Netanyahu said. "In the end, it is the Lebanese government that is responsible for upholding the cease-fire and we view it as responsible for any violations and aggression directed at us from Lebanese territory."

Netanyahu added that Israel views the rocket fire "with utmost gravity."

"I have said that we will not hold back in the face of firing at Israeli territory," the premier said, "and we will not countenance any missiles or other kind of terrorism directed at Israeli citizens."

Lebanon could seek Iranian assistance

Lebanon may turn to Iran for weapons in the event of another Israeli strike, prominent Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said on Saturday.

Jumblatt, speaking to Fars TV, said that Lebanon was in need for anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, which he claimed could be obtained from Russia as well as Iran.

The Druze leader also called to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran to improve ties in order to close ranks ahead of a future Israeli assault.

Report: UNIFIL warned of Katyusha attack

Earlier Sunday, Channel 10, quoting the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, reported that the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon in southern Lebanon was warned of a possible attack 10 days before the two Katyusha rockets hit Israel.

The report added that UNIFIL informed the Lebanese army two days before the attack.

UNIFIL spokesman Milos Strugar on Saturday blamed radicals from Palestinian refugee camps in southern Lebanon for firing the two rockets into Israel on Friday. The IDF retaliated with artillery fired toward the presumed area of the launches, near the village of Qlaileh. Strugar said this appeared to be the work of an extremist group trying to disrupt stability in southern Lebanon, and possibly harm the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon.

Strugar would not comment further on the issue, but Lebanese sources said it is widely believed the rockets were fired by a radical Islamist group connected to similar groups abroad. They noted that the rockets were fired on September 11, the dates of the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center in 2001.

A Lebanese Web site reported that four men in civilian clothes arrived in the area in a van, installed three rockets with stopwatches and left.

Lebanese commentators said over the weekend that the rocket fire was connected to the country's political crisis - which recently deepened when Saad Hariri, the winner of Lebanon's most recent elections, announced last week that he was not able to form a government. However, other parties recommended to President Michel Suleiman that he return the mandate to Hariri once again.

The sources said Hariri's statement was meant to pressure Hezbollah and its Christian ally, Michel Aoun, to confirm the list of ministers Hariri had presented to the president. Hariri, leader of the anti-Syrian "March 14" alliance, had accepted the core demands of the pro-Syrian opposition led by Hezbollah - which demanded that the government would include 10 opposition ministers with veto power. Five additional ministers will be appointed by the president. However, a major point of contention remains as Hariri demands to choose the opposition ministers himself, without consulting opposition leaders.