The army said in a statement on Thursday that jets struck the launch sites from which rockets had been fired over the previous day, as well as an additional target used to attack Israel in the past. The army blamed the state of Lebanon for the shelling and warned “against further attempts to harm Israeli civilians and Israel’s sovereignty.”
The overnight airstrikes were a marked escalation at a politically sensitive time. Israel’s new eight-party governing coalition is trying to keep peace under a fragile cease fire that ended an 11-day war with Hamas’ militant rulers in Gaza in May. Several incidents leading up to this week’s rocket fire from Lebanon have focused attention on Israel’s northern border and the United States swiftly condemned the attacks on Israel.
The Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar TV reported the strikes at around 2am, saying they hit an empty area in the Mahmoudiya Village in Marjayoun district.
Avichai Adraee, the Israeli army’s Arabic-language spokesman, said the Lebanese government is responsible for what happens on its territories and warned against more attacks on Israel from south Lebanon
Two rockets launched from Lebanon on Wednesday struck Israel, which responded with artillery fire amid heightened regional tensions over an alleged Iranian attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf last week.