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Israeli aircraft strike rocket launch sites in Lebanon,...

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Israeli aircraft strike rocket launch sites in Lebanon, military says

epa07993394 An Israeli soldier aims his weapon during an anti-Israel protest by Palestinians in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, 13 November 2019. Reports state three were killed on 12 November by an Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip amid an escalation of tensions that erupted following the death of a senior Islamist militant in a precision airstrike, who Israel has accused of being behind recent barrages of rockets. EPA-EFE/ABED AL HASHLAMOUN
By Reuters
05 Aug 2021 1

JERUSALEM, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Israeli jets struck what its military said were rocket launch sites in Lebanon early on Thursday in response to two rockets fired towards Israel from Lebanese territory, in an escalation of cross-border hostilities amid heightened tensions with Iran.

By Rami Ayyub

The rockets launched from Lebanon on Wednesday struck open areas in northern Israel, causing brush fires along the hilly frontier. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, which came from an area of south Lebanon under the sway of Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas.

Israel responded with several rounds of artillery fire on Wednesday before launching air strikes early on Thursday, the military said.

“(Military) fighter jets struck the launch sites and infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon from which the rockets were launched,” the military said in a statement.

The military also struck an area that had seen rocket launches in the past, it added.

Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV said that Israeli warplanes had carried out two raids on the outskirts of the Lebanese town of Mahmudiya, about 12 km (7.5 miles) from the Israeli border. There were no reports of casualties.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Israel’s air strikes were the first targeting Lebanese villages since 2006 and showed an escalation in its “aggressive intent” towards his country.

Aoun also said in a tweet the strikes were a direct threat to the security and stability of southern Lebanon and violated U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Speaking to Israel’s YNet TV, Defence Minister Benny Gantz said: “This was an attack meant to send a message … Clearly we could do much more, and we hope we won’t arrive at that.”

Gantz said he believed a Palestinian faction had launched the rockets. Small Palestinian factions in Lebanon have fired sporadically on Israel in the past.

The border has been mostly quiet since Israel fought a 2006 war against Hezbollah, which has advanced rockets. Israeli aircraft struck Hezbollah posts in the border area last summer. Israel says its aircraft last struck inside Lebanon in 2014, though Al-Manar TV reported one such strike in 2015.

This week’s cross-border fire came after a suspected drone attack last Thursday on a tanker off the coast of Oman that Israel, the United States and Britain blamed on Iran. Two crew members, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed. Iran has denied any involvement.

The United States and Britain said on Sunday they would work with their allies to respond to the attack. Israel says it is keeping the option open of acting alone if necessary. (Additional reporting by Dan Williams and Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem, Alaa Swilam and Ahmed Tolba in Cairo and Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman; Editing by Richard Pullin, Nick Macfie, Alexandra Hudson)

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  • The concluding statement of …”keeping the option open of ACTING ALONE if necessary.” is simply because it is the proxy of the US, which has like itself, refused to allow the ICC to investigate any of its actions … in other words … we are and will be a law unto ourselves ! As for the use of drones to carry out missions against entities you dislike or approve of … the US thought that this technology would be for its exclusive use, not realising that in time that same technology could be used against it or its allies. This is what happened with nuclear technology also ! The Israeli regime has routinely carried out ‘assassinations’ (and denied it) outside its borders and for which it has never been held accountable. The recent exposure of it being behind the use of spy technology with which to spy on politicians and journalists especially, should be a clear indication of its ‘above the law’ attitude to the rest of the world. No doubt encouraged by a ‘don’t ask any questions’ stance of the complicit and encouraging US. The attitude is one of it is OK for me but not OK for you ! I RULE THE WORLD mantra !

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