Israeli Jets Attack South Lebanon After Earlier Fire Exchanges

The Israeli army said it targeted launch sites from which three rockets were fired toward northern Israel earlier in the day

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גבול לבנון, אתמול
The border with LebanonCredit: Karamallah Daher/Reuters

The Israeli Air Force shelled Lebanon on Wednesday night, the Israeli military said, after a day of tit-for-tat attacks between Israel and militants operating from southern Lebanon.

The IDF said that it struck "the launch sites and infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon from which the rockets were launched," referring to three projectiles fired from Lebanon earlier in the day. Two landed in Israeli territory and one failed to cross into Israel. 

The IDF's strike in Lebanon, tonightCredit: IDF

Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV later confirmed the strike, stating that Israeli warplanes had carried out two raids in the outskirts of the Lebanese border town of Mahmudiya.

Although the source of the missiles has not yet been verified, the IDF also warned Lebanon that it is responsible for all rocket fire from its territory that is fired toward Israel.

Following the launches earlier in the day, the Israeli army responded with artillery fire at the Lebanese border.

A video allegedly depicting a hit in the city of Kiryat Shmona Credit:

According to the IDF, Israeli soldiers fired over a hundred shells of various kinds into Lebanese territory throughout Wednesday.

Israeli defense officials speculate that Hezbollah was not behind the rocket launch, rather Palestinian militant factions may have been responsible. 

The Lebanese army also said on Wednesday that Israel bombed several areas in southern Lebanon, leading to a fire in the town of Rashaya Al-fokh.

"The situation is being followed up with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon," the army added in a statement

UNIFIL’s Head of Mission and Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col, was in immediate contact with the parties, a UNIFIL statement read. 

"He urged them to cease fire and to exercise maximum restraint to avoid further escalation, especially on this solemn anniversary," the statement added. 

UNIFIL forces in Lebanon patrolled the site where the rockets allegedly originated from, sources in southern Lebanon said. 

A fire has broken out in an open area in Kiryat Shmona where one of the rockets landed, close to residential buildings.  

Kiryat Shmona's mayor urged locals to stay close to their bomb shelters until the situation becomes clearer, when up-to-date safety instructions will be issued.

Public bomb shelters will be opened in the city, he added. 

Residents of Kfar Giladi, Tel Hai and Kiryat Shmona reported hearing loud explosions moments after the sirens sounded. 

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

Reuters contributed to this report.

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