Three Rockets Explode in Northern Israel; IDF Responds With Artillery Fire Into Lebanon

No casualties reported; Lebanese media reports PFLP behind rocket fire, a symbolic response to alleged Israeli airstrike that killed Hezbollah's Samir Kuntar near Damascus.

Israeli soldiers near Shlomi, December 20, 2015.
Israeli soldiers near Shlomi, December 20, 2015.Credit: Gil Eliyahu

Three rockets exploded in northern Israel on Sunday evening, causing no casualties.

The rockets landed near the town of Shlomi in the Western Galilee. The explosions were preceded by rocket sirens across the western Galilee region.

Israel responded with artillery fire into Lebanon.

According to reports in Lebanon, the rockets were fired from south of Tyre. Local media cited Lebanese security officials saying that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was behind the rocket fire.

The report also said the rockets were transported to the launch site from one of the Palestinian refugee camps near Tyre. The attack was said to have been a symbolic response to the assassination of Samir Kuntar, attributed to an Israeli airstrike by Hezbollah. PFLP members have fired rockets at Israel from the same area in the past.

Another report said that UNFIL was contacting Israeli and Lebanese officials in an attempt to defuse the tensions.

The municipalities of Shlomi and Nahariya opened their bomb shelters, despite not receiving instructions from the military to do so.

Earlier on Sunday, the Lebanese group Hezbollah announced that one of its top officials, Samir Kuntar, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on a Damascus suburb.

In the statement, the group said the "Zionist enemy's planes" struck a building in Jaramana, a district of Damascus, around 10:15 P.M. on Saturday, killing Kuntar and several Syrian civilians.

According to reports, between six and eight people were killed in the strike, among them also Hezbollah field commanders.

Untar was released from Israeli prison in 2008, where he was serving a life sentence for the murders of the Haran family in Nahariya, as part of a deal with Hezbollah for the return of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Udi Goldwasser and Eldad Regev.

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