Three terror rockets were fired into northern Israel from Lebanon on Wednesday, prompting thousands of people to take cover in bomb shelters.
One rocket exploded in an open area and another was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. One of the rockets sparked a large fire in a field near the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona. There were no casualties.
The Israeli military responded by striking the targets in Lebanon with artillery shells.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) released a statement saying they had received reports of rocket fire from Lebanon towards Israel.
“UNIFIL’s Head of Mission and Force Commander, Maj.-Gen. Stefano Del Col, was in immediate contact with the parties. He urged them to cease fire and to exercise maximum restraint to avoid further escalation, especially on this solemn anniversary,” the statement read, Wednesday marking a year since the explosion at the Beirut Port, in which over 200 people were killed and thousands were wounded.
“UNIFIL remains fully engaged with the parties through our liaison and coordination channels, and we are working with the Lebanese Armed Forces to ensure immediate follow up on the ground and to reinforce security along the Blue Line,” the statement said.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement he had sent a “strong message to UNIFIL over the rocket fire from Lebanon.”
RAW FOOTAGE: 3 rockets were just fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel. 2 rockets landed in Israel, and 1 fell inside Lebanon.
In response, our artillery forces fired into Lebanon. pic.twitter.com/Sf3754RqRU
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 4, 2021
Israeli media said Palestinian terror groups, and not the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group, were behind the attacks.
However, it is unlikely Hezbollah would allow Palestinian groups in Lebanon to operate without its permission. During the recent war between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip, several rockets were launched from Lebanon into northern Israel, likely by regional Palestinian groups, the army said at the time.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Gantz and IDF chief Aviv Kohavi convened to discuss possible responses.