January 8, 2009
Tel Aviv has fired five rockets into Lebanon, claiming that the assault was in retaliation for rocket attacks on its northern towns.
Four rockets landed on northern Israel early on Thursday, a Press TV correspondent reported. Four settlers were reportedly injured in the attack.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the rockets landed around the town of Nahariya, 8 km (5 miles) south of the Lebanese border. Tel Aviv claims the rockets were launched from southern Lebanon.
The Lebanese Hezbollah, however, says it is not responsible for the alleged firing of rockets at Israel.
An army spokesperson said that following the attack the Israeli military launched missiles onto Lebanon in what it described as "retaliatory" fire.
Hezbollah’s al-Manar television and Lebanese officials announced that five rockets had landed on the Lebanese soil near the southern border with Israel. However, the artillery landed on desert areas causing no damage or casualties, Press TV’s Beirut correspondent, Ali Rizk, reported.
Israeli warplanes breached Lebanon’s airspace following the incident, conducting overflights over southern Lebanon.
Despite claims made by Israeli officials that Tel Aviv is not interested in opening a new front against Hezbollah in the north, Israeli reconnaissance aircraft regularly fly over Lebanon.
On December 28, a day after Tel Aviv launched its bloody airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, Israeli warplanes conducted overflights at a low altitude over south Lebanon, violating the country’s airspace in breach of UN Security Council resolution 1701.
Meanwhile, Israeli media say the rocket attacks were most likely fired by Palestinian groups in retaliation for the 13-day-long Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip.
Radio and television reports cited unnamed military sources saying the incident was likely to be an ‘isolated attack’.
The Hamas movement has also denied the reports that it was behind the rocket attacks. "We cannot blame any Palestinian faction and we don’t know who fired the rockets," said Hamas spokesman in Lebanon, Raafat Morra.
"Hamas is pursuing its combat inside Palestine and our principle is not to use any other Arab soil to respond to the occupation. This is our firm policy," he said.
"Basically what is happening is the fault of Israel because it is impossible to contain the Arab and Islamic world after the Gaza massacre."