Tensions rose in northern Israel on Wednesday afternoon as the Israel Defense Forces retaliated after three rockets were fired into northern Israel from Lebanon.
Two of the three rockets landed in open spaces and the third fell in Lebanese territory. No one was injured, but residents scrambled to get to bomb shelters when the sirens blared just after noon.
Israeli believes the attack was carried out by Palestinian groups based in Lebanon and not Hezbollah.
Sporadic rocket fire and attempted cross-border attacks from Lebanon have occurred with more frequency over the past few months, but so far have not led to any casualties.
תיעוד מהתקיפות הארטילריות של צה"ל ברחבי גבול לבנון בשעות האחרונות, בתגובה לירי לעבר שטח ישראל: pic.twitter.com/srBIJRvnLH— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) August 4, 2021
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz sent a message to United Nations peacekeepers to increase their vigilance or that Israel would be forced to respond on its own.
The United Nations peacekeeping force in the border region, UNIFIL, urged “maximum restraint” in a statement.
“UNIFIL’s Head of Mission and Force Commander, Maj.-Gen. Stefano Del Col, was in immediate contact with the parties. He urged them to cease fire and to exercise maximum restraint to avoid further escalation, especially on this solemn anniversary,” the statement read. “UNIFIL remains fully engaged with the parties through our liaison and coordination channels, and we are working with the Lebanese Armed Forces to ensure immediate follow up on the ground and to reinforce security along the Blue Line.”
Israel's Homefront Command lifted the alert and residents were able to return to their routines.
The cross-border exchange took place as Lebanon marked one year since the explosion at Beirut's port devastated the capital killing 218 people and leaving 300,000 homeless.
Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS