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Tension is rising again in the Middle East. Israel bombed southern Lebanon overnight, from which dozens of rockets were launched towards the Jewish state yesterday. “We will strike our enemies,” Netanyahu assured a few hours ago, pointing his finger at Hamas. Israel and Lebanon “do not want a war”, UNIFIL assures.
The army announced tonight that it is “carrying out attacks in Lebanon”. Violent explosions were heard in the Tire region of southern Lebanon. Israel has said it is targeting Hamas targets, with attacks starting around 3:30am Eastern time. More than 10 Hamas sites were hit by Israeli aviation in southern Lebanon, while 2 tunnels and various emplacements were hit in Gaza. The military spokesman said that Hamas launched 44 rockets against Israel from Gaza. One, he added, hit a house in Sderot but without casualties: 14 fell in an open area, 8 were intercepted, 12 fell into the sea and 9 inside the Strip. The army has instructed residents around the Strip to remain in shelters until further notice. A resident of the Rachidiye Palestinian refugee camp near Tire said that “at least two bullets fell near the camp”. An AFP correspondent in this region said a shell landed on the roof of a house on a plantation, causing property damage. Lebanon and Israel “do not want a war”, assured the United Nations Interposition Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) after contacts between the two sides. Peacekeepers have called on “all parties to cease all action” on both sides of the border following Israeli attacks on Lebanon that followed rocket fire at the Jewish state.
What happened yesterday
Yesterday the Jewish state accused Palestinian factions linked to Hamas of being responsible for launching 34 missiles from the Land of the Cedars towards the western Galilee. Rockets preceded by another 7, of which 5 towards Israel, fired directly from the Strip at the beginning of the day when the Jewish Passover was celebrated. All while in the Esplanade of the Mosques in Jerusalem there were other incidents after the violent ones on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. Lebanon’s attack on Israel is considered the most serious since the 2006 conflict: a barrage of rockets that sent the inhabitants into shelters. Of the 34 – the army explained – 25 were intercepted and shot down by the Iron Dome system, 5 passed the defenses causing material damage and two injured. 4 others do not know where they fell. Netanyahu convened the security cabinet and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant – who immediately met with the top army leaders – gave a mandate to prepare “all response options”. There is talk not only of Lebanon but also of Gaza, in a pincer that requires careful examination of the moves. The army has in fact said it holds “Palestinian factions linked to Hamas” responsible for the launch, and is examining the possible “involvement” of Iran. The prime minister then assured: “We will strike our enemies and they will pay a price for each of their actions”.