Conflicts & War

Israel responds to Lebanon fire with artillery in midst of war with Gaza

Jerusalem/Beirut, Oct 13 (EFE).- The Israeli armed forces on Friday responded to rocket fire from Lebanon with artillery and tank shells, an army statement said.

“Fire has been identified coming from Lebanon into Israeli territory on the Lebanese border. Soldiers are responding with tank and artillery fire towards the source of the fire,” the military statement said.

Shortly afterwards, the same source clarified that after a reconnaissance of the area, troops had ruled out the possibility of a “terrorist infiltration” in the Hanita area, in the western section of the Lebanese border, but that several military border posts had come under fire.

Soldiers responded to that fire and also fired on Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah militia infrastructure in the area, the statement added.

The Lebanese Army, for its part, said that Israeli attacks had struck one of its watchtowers on the outskirts of the town of Alma al Shaab, just across the border from Hanita, although it clarified that there were no casualties and that the post is rarely in use.

Israel also hit the area between the towns of Dhahira and Alma al Shaab, where an exchange of fire between Israeli troops and unknown assailants reportedly took place.

Since Sunday, the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah and Palestinian factions operating in Lebanon have fired several rockets and missiles, provoking Israeli responses.

Friday’s attack against the watchtower is the second to affect the Lebanese army, which is not a formal participant in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Violence in the region has dramatically escalated in the past week since Palestinian militants from Hamas, the Islamist movement that governs the Gaza Strip, launched an unprecedent attack against Israel.

The NGO Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of using white phosphorus in its bombardments in Lebanon and in Gaza, allegations the Israeli army has denied. EFE

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