Monday, June 18, 2007

Two rockets hit Israel from South Lebanon

Two rockets hit Israel from South Lebanon
By Rym Ghazal
Daily Star staff

BEIRUT: Two Katyusha rockets were fired from South Lebanon into Israel on Sunday, and Israeli troops launched five shells into Lebanon in retaliation. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon condemned the rocket attack as a "serious violation" of Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended last summer's war with Israel. The two rockets fell on the town of Kiryat Shmona and caused no casualties. A third failed to cross the border. The rockets, 122-millimeter Katyushas with a range of about 20 kilometers, were fired from Khaleh, between Adaysseh and Taibeh, about 4 kilometers from the border. They were the first rockets to be fired from Lebanon into Israel since the war.

Lebanese security sources and Israeli officials said Palestinian militant fired the rockets. Hizbullah immediately released a statement in which it denied "any relation with the launching of rockets today toward occupied Palestine." The Israeli Army responded with five shells fired at the mountainous areas of Birkat Naqqar and Jabal Saddaneh near the village of Shebaa. There were no reports of casualties.

The Lebanese Army said it stopped another rocket from being fired. "Army forces immediately searched the area ... and found a fourth rocket, which was ready to be launched with a timer," said an army statement. A number of pro-Syrian Palestinian groups which maintain bases in Lebanon have been previously accused of firing rockets at northern Israel. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora vowed that the government will track down the assailants. "The state, through all its security services, will not spare any effort to find the party behind this act which aims at destabilizing Lebanon," he said in a statement. - With agencies

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