IDF: 4 rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon, 1 intercepted; no injuries

Israeli artillery cannons shell source of fire in retaliation; 3 projectiles land in unpopulated areas in latest attack on Israel’s north; Palestinian faction said behind launch

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli soldiers guard in Metula, on the border between Israel and Lebanon, northern Israel, on May 14, 2021, after Lebanese protesters crossed the Israeli border fence. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)
Israeli soldiers guard in Metula, on the border between Israel and Lebanon, northern Israel, on May 14, 2021, after Lebanese protesters crossed the Israeli border fence. (Basel Awidat/Flash90)

Four rockets were fired at Israel from Lebanon on Wednesday afternoon, triggering sirens along the country’s northern coast, the Israel Defense Forces said.

IDF artillery cannons returned fire, shelling the source of the rocket launches, the military said.

No injuries or damage were directly caused by the attack from Lebanon. Two people were lightly hurt when they fell while running to bomb shelters, medics said.

According to the IDF, one of the rockets was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. A second landed in an open field in the area of the Arab Israeli town of Shfaram, and two landed out at sea, the military said.

The IDF said artillery cannons were striking “a number of targets in Lebanese territory” in response to the attack on Wednesday. Lebanese media reported that Israeli jets were seen flying over southern Lebanon.

The rockets triggered sirens in an area north of Haifa known as the Krayot and in communities up the coast to the city of Acre.

The impact site of a rocket fired from southern Lebanon at Israel, which struck the Arab Israeli town of Shefaram on May 19, 2021. (Israel Police)

This was the third rocket attack on northern Israel from Lebanon amid Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and appeared to be the most significant. None of the attacks have caused injuries or damage.

Lebanese media reported that the rockets were fired from the village of Seddiqine, near the city of Tyre, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Israeli northern coast.

The Israeli military has blamed the previous two rocket attacks from Lebanon on Palestinian factions in the country, not the Hezbollah terror group. However, it is unlikely that terrorists in southern Lebanon would be able to fire four rockets of such long ranges without at least the tacit approval of the Iran-backed militia, which maintains a tight degree of control over southern Lebanon.

Over the weekend, rockets were also fired from Syria toward northern Israel, hitting an open field.

Earlier this week, IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said the military anticipated that rocket and mortar attacks from the north were likely to continue as it fights the Hamas terror group in Gaza. Similar attacks from Lebanon occurred during the 2014 Gaza war.

Late Monday night, six rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Israel, but they apparently fell short of the border fence. The military said it responded with artillery fire.

The rockets triggered warning sirens in some communities near the border. The army later ordered communities within four kilometers (2.5 miles) of the northern border to open bomb shelters. There were no injuries reported. A Lebanese military source confirmed to AFP that several Grad-type rockets had been fired from the Shebaa Farms area in southern Lebanon toward Israel in that attack.

The United Nations peacekeeping force along the border, UNIFIL, said early Tuesday that the border was now calm. “UNIFIL detected firing of rockets from the general area of Rashaya Al Foukhar north of Kfar Chouba in S. Lebanon,” UNIFIL tweeted, noting that the Israel Defense Forces returned artillery fire toward location from which the rockets originated.

United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) soldiers stand along the border wall with Israel, in the Lebanese village of Adaiseh, on May 15, 2021. (Mahmoud ZAYYAT / AFP)

Three missiles were fired at Israel from Syria on Friday evening, hours after the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group said one of its members was killed by Israeli fire during a protest on the border. One rocket fell inside Syria and the other two landed in open areas of the Golan Heights, the military said.

On Thursday, Israeli forces fired tank shells as a warning to a group of protesters who broke through the border fence with Lebanon near Metulla, sabotaging the barrier and setting fires, the military said. Lebanon said one person was killed and Hezbollah later said 21-year-old Mohammad Tahan was a member of the Shiite terror group. Lebanese President Michel Aoun strongly condemned “the crime committed by Israeli forces” when they opened fire at the group.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire or confirmation of a link between the events. However, Hezbollah and other Iran-supported militias have attacked Israel from Syrian territory in the past.

Last Thursday, three rockets were fired from Lebanon at Israel, all of which landed in the sea. A spokesperson for Hezbollah told Lebanon’s L’Orient Today news outlet that the terror organization was not behind the attack.

Agencies contributed to this report

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