Israel fires into Lebanon after rockets launched over border

Posted July 12, 2014, at 8:02 p.m.

JERUSALEM, Israel — Rockets fired from Lebanon hit Israeli territory Saturday, and Israel’s army responded with artillery fire, Lebanese security sources and the Israeli military said. This is the second such incident in two days.

“Initial reports indicate that at least two rockets fired from Lebanon hit open areas north of Nahariya. No damage or injuries, thus far,” an Israeli military statement said, adding Israeli forces fired artillery toward the source of the rocket fire.

A Lebanese security source said three rockets had been fired from Lebanon.

Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group that battled Israel seven years ago and is engaged in Syria’s civil war in support of President Bashar al-Assad, but Palestinian groups are also in the same area.

Palestinian militant group Hamas, battling with Israel from Gaza, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire from Lebanon, though it was unclear what kind of influence or presence the Islamist group had there.

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have launched hundreds of rockets into Israel since the start of an Israeli offensive five days ago, and at least 125 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed.

On Friday rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel and drew Israeli artillery fire. Lebanese security forces arrested a man suspected of firing the projectiles, the national news agency said. He was Lebanese and a member of “fundamentalist groups,” the report said, without naming the groups.

It said he admitted he had been accompanied by two Palestinians who were also members of these groups, and security forces were still searching for the pair.

The army said it discovered two missile platforms with more rockets ready for launch after searching the area and had dismantled them.

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