TEL AVIV—Israel fired artillery shells into southern Lebanon after militants there launched a rocket into northern Israel, the Israeli military said, opening a new front in current Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
The Israeli military said the rocket landed in an open area near a small kibbutz, causing no injuries. The military said that in response, it targeted the source of the launch and an unspecified infrastructure with artillery fire early Monday. No group claimed responsibility for the attack and no injuries were reported in Lebanon.
Israeli officials said they believed that a faction of Palestinian militants based in Lebanon launched the rocket, but couldn’t be certain. Israel says a number of Palestinian militant groups operate in southern Lebanon, where the powerful Lebanese militant and political group Hezbollah has tight control.
Ran Kochav, an Israeli military spokesman, said the rocket fire from Lebanon was likely related to flare up in conflict across Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Palestinians protest at the compound that houses Al-Aqsa mosque.
In recent weeks, Israeli police and Palestinians have clashed in Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, the compound around Al Aqsa Mosque, which Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary and Jews the Temple Mount.
In addition, Palestinian and Arab Israelis have carried out a string of terror attacks inside Israel, there were deadly clashes in the West Bank and Gaza-based militants fired rockets at Israel on three occasions.
Gaza’s ruling faction, Hamas, and other militant groups in the Gaza striphave been threatening to attack Israel over near-daily clashes last week between Israeli police and Palestinians at Al Aqsa Mosque compound. No group has claimed responsibility for the recent rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.
The Israeli military carried out airstrikes in Gaza in response to the Islamist militant group Hamas firing a rocket into the country from the Palestinian territory. The attack breaks months of quiet on the border and raises fears of a wider conflict. Photo: Ashraf Amra/Zuma Press
There hasn’t been this much violence between Israelis and Palestinians since Hamas and Israel fought an 11-day deadly conflict in May that was also sparked by tensions in Jerusalem.
During that conflict, Palestinian militants fired four rockets at northern Israel, according to Israel’s military.
Mr. Kochav said Israel’s artillery fire into southern Lebanon was a message to those Palestinian groups and Hezbollah that “we won’t allow Israeli sovereignty to be violated.”
Israel and Hezbollah last fought a war in 2006 after two Israeli soldiers were captured in a cross-border raid. Israel launched a massive assault on Lebanon in response, which saw Hezbollah fire thousands of rockets at northern Israel. The 34-day war resulted in the deaths of 165 Israeli soldiers and civilians and at least 1,100 people were killed in Lebanon, mostly civilians but also Hezbollah fighters.
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Appeared in the April 26, 2022, print edition as ‘Israel Hits Lebanon After Attack.’
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