Hours After Syria Reports Israeli Strike, Two Rockets Launched From Lebanon

Yaniv Kubovich
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Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip, as seen from near Sderot, Israel, in May.
Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip, as seen from near Sderot, Israel, in May.Credit: Amir Cohen / Reuters
Yaniv Kubovich

Two rockets were launched at Israel from Lebanon overnight into Tuesday, the Israeli army said, following an earlier Syrian state media report of an Israeli strike in the northern Aleppo region.

Israeli air defense systems intercepted one of the rocket while the other landed in an open area, the military's statement said. The statement further read that no casualties were reported and the military responded to the launch with artillery fire. The rocket launch had set off sirens in several Western Galilee communities near the Israel-Lebanese border, including Shlomi, Rosh Hanikra, Kabri and Hanita.

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Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Lebanon bears sole responsibility for the rocket launch. "Lebanon allows terror activity to take place from its territory. The State of Israel will act against every threat to its sovereignty and citizens, and will respond according to its interests in the relevant time and place."

"We won't allow Lebanon's social, economic and political crisis to turn into a security threat against Israel. I call on the international community to act for Lebanon's' stabilization, "Gantz added. 

Earlier on Monday night, Syrian media reported that Syria's air defenses intercepted an Israeli attack on Al-Safirah area in the southern countryside of Aleppo.

An unidentified military official quoted by SANA said Syrian air defenses shot down most of the missiles in the attack that occurred just before midnight and that the targets are still being identified.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor that has activists on the ground in Syria, said the Israeli strikes targeted weapons depots that belong to Iranian-backed militia operating in Al-Safirah.

In May, during the recent round of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, rockets were fired from Lebanon at Israel's north in several incidents. It was unclear which groups were behind the barrages. The Israeli military said it had struck targets in Lebanon in response.

The Israeli military believes Palestinian groups are behind the launches. A few years ago, reports said that Hamas, the militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, was trying to organize rocket-launching networks in Palestinian refugee camps to fire at Israel in case of an escalation.

One security source said militant group Hezbollah, which has sway in southern Lebanon, had not been involved in the launches, and that the group was trying to determine the source of the rockets.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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