BEIRUT: Tensions rose on the Lebanese-Israeli border on Wednesday after unknown individuals fired three rockets from Lebanese territory.
Two fell on the Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona while the third rocket landed inside Lebanon. No party has yet claimed responsibility.
Israel retaliated by bombing Lebanese border areas, causing fires. Avichay Adraee, spokesman for the Israeli military, said: “The Lebanese government is fully responsible for any rocket fire originating from its territory.”
Rocket warning sirens sounded in northern Israel near the Lebanese border, the military said.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. The military said in a statement the alerts sounded in at least three communities near the border with Lebanon.
Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett left a Knesset (Parliament) session to hold security consultations following the rocket fire from Lebanon.
The United States condemns rocket attacks by armed groups based in Lebanon on Israel, the US State Department said on Wednesday.
It will remain engaged with Israeli and Lebanese partners to de-escalate the situation.
“We absolutely condemn the rocket attacks from armed groups, based in Lebanon, that were fired into Israel,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
Candice Ardell, deputy director of the media office of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), said: “The Commander of UNIFIL Stephano Del Col is in direct contact with all parties. He urged them to cease fire and exercise maximum restraint to avoid further escalation, especially on this sad anniversary (of the Beirut port explosion).”
The border has been mostly quiet since Israel fought a 2006 war against Hezbollah guerrillas, who have sway in southern Lebanon and advanced rockets.
But small Palestinian factions in Lebanon have fired sporadically on Israel in the past, and two rockets were launched at Israel on July 20, causing no damage or injuries. Israel responded to that incident with artillery fire.
— With input from AFP and Reuters.