THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – Beirut Correspondent – Israeli military sources reported that three rockets have been fired from South Lebanon over Israel’s northern city of Nahariya, according to the Israeli media.
The Israeli army has responded by heavy artillery fire into Lebanon villages.
Code Red sirens blared in Israel’s northern city of Nahariyah in the early hours of Monday morning around 12:30 a.m. as several rockets launched from Lebanon landed in open territory outside.
Lebanese security sources confirmed that two rockets fired from south Lebanon struck northern Israel Sunday night, triggering Israeli retaliatory artillery fire on the outskirts of the Lebanese village of Rashidiya, Lebanese security sources said. No casualties were reported.
These rockets follow a rocket from Syria that was fired and landed in an open area in the occupied Golan Heights earlier on Sunday night. No injuries or damage were reported. The Israeli army has fired a Syrian station following that, according to Al-Arabiyya TV channel.
Meanwhile, U.N. peacekeepers urged the Lebanese and Israeli militaries Sunday to exercise “maximum self-restraint” and cooperate with UNIFIL to maintain calm on the border.
The U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon described the firing of rockets into Israel as “a grave violation” of Resolution 1701 that ended the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon.
Acting Force commander Brig. Gen. Tarundeep Kumar immediately established contact with senior commanders of the Lebanese and Israeli armies and urged them “to exercise maximum restraint, to cooperate with UNIFIL in order to prevent further escalation,” according to a UNIFIL statement.
Efforts to locate the launch pads of rockets fired at northern Israel Saturday turned out to be an arduous task with the Lebanese Army only discovering them Sunday afternoon, security sources told The Lebanese Daily Star.
The sources said the Army found the launch pads in a banana orchard in the valley of Ras al-Ain, 3 kilometers away from the Palestinian refugee camp of Rashidieh in Tyre.
Lebanese troops also found an unexploded bomb that was taken from the area by a military expert, the National News Agency reported.
The UNIFIL statement said the peacekeeping force, in coordination with the Lebanese Army, is maintaining enhanced operational presence on the ground, and has intensified patrols across the area of operations to prevent any further incidents.
“The parties have reaffirmed their commitment to the cessation of hostilities and are fully cooperating with UNIFIL in efforts to prevent any further incidents along the Blue Line,” the statement said.
UNIFIL explained that the situation in the area was calmer, adding that it has launched an investigation into the incident “that amounted to a grave violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 and endangered human lives.”
There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket attack and Hamas issued a statement denying that its armed wing, the Ezzeddine al-Qassam Brigades, carried out Saturday’s attack.
Friday, a member of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya, a Lebanese branch of Muslim Brotherhood, fired rockets at Israel, sources told The Daily Star. They said the man acted of his own volition in solidarity with the people of Gaza against the ongoing Israeli offensive.