Rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel on Thursday and answered by a burst of cross-border artillery fire, officials said, amid escalating tension following Israeli police raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
The Israeli military said it had intercepted at least one rocket as sirens sounded in northern towns near the border, while two Lebanese security sources said there had been at least two attacks, with multiple rockets.
Israeli news outlets reported that around 30 rockets were launched from Lebanon, half of which were intercepted, while five landed in Israeli areas. Israel’s ambulance service said one man had sustained minor shrapnel injuries.
There was no claim of responsibility but three security sources said Palestinian factions in Lebanon, not the heavily armed Lebanese Hezbollah group, were believed to be responsible for the rocket fire. Israel fought a month-long war with Hezbollah in 2006.
Thursday’s incident came as Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, was visiting Lebanon.
In a written statement, the UN peacekeeping force in south Lebanon described the situation as “extremely serious” and urged restraint.