Lebanon arrests 2 Palestinians for rocket fire at Israel

Lebanon arrests 2 Palestinians for rocket fire at Israel

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, at least nine rockets were fired from across the northern border

Illustrative photo of Lebanese troops (photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)
Illustrative photo of Lebanese troops (photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)

Two Palestinian brothers suspected of involvement in rocket attacks on northern Israel have been arrested by the Lebanese army, the military said on Wednesday.

“Khalil and Hassan Kharraz were arrested on Tuesday. They admitted to transporting rockets on July 13 and 14 to the area from where they were launched” at Israel, the army said in a statement.

Between July 11 and 14, during the ongoing war between Israel and Gaza, run by the Palestinian terror group Hamas, at least nine rockets were fired from south Lebanon toward the Jewish state.

The Israeli army has retaliated by firing scores of shells at Lebanese territory.

On Friday morning, three rockets that were fired from Lebanon landed near Kfar Yuval, between the northern Israeli towns of Metulla and Kiryat Shmona, close to the Israeli border and some 200 kilometers from Tel Aviv. Fragments from one of the rockets were later found in an open area near Kiryat Shmona.

A short while later, Lebanese army sappers located and dismantled at least two rockets that were prepared for launch. A Lebanese military spokesman said the weapons seemed to have malfunctioned, Walla reported.

A trail of blood and a ripped shoe were later found at the site, Lebanese media reported. The army said it had arrested one man in connection to the firing of the three rockets.

The IDF responded with heavy artillery fire toward the area where the rocket was launched, according to an army spokesman. At least 25 artillery shells reportedly slammed the outskirts of the Lebanese town of Kfar Shuba.

There were no reports of injuries or damage, on either the Israeli or the Lebanese sides of the border.

According to Lebanese media, the rockets were launched from the village of Hasbaya, in the south of the country, and the group behind the attack had yet to take responsibility. Defense officials in Israel asserted that the rockets were likely Katyushas fired by a Palestinian group that identifies with Hamas.

Following the rocket attack, IDF officials filed a complaint with UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said the organization was looking into the incidents, according to Lebanese media.

On Saturday, local Israeli councils on the Lebanese border ordered the opening of public bomb shelters after three rockets were fired at the Upper Galilee.

One of the rockets landed in a warehouse in a northern village, another in an open field and the third didn’t clear the Lebanese border.

Hamas reported that it was responsible for the rocket fire, which Israeli sources noted did not appear to be launched by the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

Later in the week, on Monday, a third barrage of rockets was fired from across the northern border, from an area just south of Tyre, Lebanese media reported.

In both cases, the IDF responded with artillery fire directed at the location where the rockets were launched.

Adiv Sterman contributed to this report.

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