The IDF said in a statement Tuesday that air defenses intercepted one of the rockets and the second fell in an open area. No injuries or damage were reported.
The United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, said its radar detected rockets fired from southern Lebanon into Israel just before 4 a.m. (1 a.m. GMT) on Tuesday. Israeli artillery subsequently fired in the direction of Lebanon, the UN force said.
The Lebanese military said Israel fired 12 artillery shells at the Wadi Hammoul area, causing no damage or casualties. The military said its units there found three grad rocket launch pads in the al-Qulaylah area, one of them with a rocket prepared for firing which was then deactivated by the military. specialized army units.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement that Lebanon was responsible for the nightly rocket fire and that “Israel will act against any threat to its sovereignty and its citizens.”
“We will not allow the social, political and economic crisis in Lebanon to turn into a threat to Israel’s security,” Gantz said.
The Lebanese state is responsible for the rockets fired during the night, because it allows terrorists to operate on its territory. Israel will act against any threat to its sovereignty and its citizens, and respond in accordance with its interests – when and where it matters.
– Benny Gantz – Benny Gantz (@gantzbe) July 20, 2021
Lebanon is grappling with an unprecedented crisis, including an economic collapse that has raised fears of an upsurge in violence in that country.
UNIFIL said it was in contact with military officials in Lebanon and Israel to “call for maximum restraint” to avoid further escalation. Peacekeepers and the Lebanese army have stepped up security in the area and launched an investigation, the mission said.
In May, rockets were fired from southern Lebanon several times in a week, according to the country’s military. The IDF said the rockets landed in the sea.
On May 14, a Lebanese man was shot dead by Israeli troops after he and others attempted to cross a security fence on the border with Israel as they demonstrated in support of Palestinians marking the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba, what the Palestinians call “the catastrophe” that befell them in the war against Israel in 1948.
Attacks in Syria
Tuesday’s incident along the Lebanese-Israeli border came hours after a Syrian military official said Israel carried out airstrikes near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. The Syrian state news agency said air defenses intercepted most of the missiles during the attack.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor that has militants on the ground in Syria, said the Israeli raids targeted arms depots belonging to armed groups backed by the Iran operating in the region.
Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes in Syria in recent years, targeting Iranian forces there and attacking what Israel says are arms deliveries to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon.
The IDF rarely comments on these attacks.
Israel waged a war in 2006 against Hezbollah, which is the dominant force in southern Lebanon and has advanced rockets. The border has been fairly quiet since then.
Lebanon was ruled by an interim administration for nearly a year as its currency collapsed, jobs disappeared and banks froze accounts in what lenders called one of the crises most serious financial issues of modern times.