A rocket reportedly fired from south Lebanon Sunday night didn’t land in Israeli territory, the IDF said Monday.
Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg, head of the Home Front Command, claimed that if there was such a missile launched by Lebanon then it hadn’t actually hit Israel.
Residents in the area of Metulla, near the border with Lebanon, reported hearing a high-pitched whistle followed by a loud boom before midnight Sunday. There were no initial reports of injury or damage.
A security source told Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper that the rocket had been fired from the area of Burj al-Marouk, near the town of Marjayoun. The town is about five kilometers (3 miles) from Metulla.
Army troops were dispatched to the area to locate the rocket, in case it had fallen within Israel. Troops from the UNIFIL peacekeeping force and the Lebanon army also conducted searches inside Lebanon, The Daily Star reported.
The reported rocket fire came several hours after a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut was shelled, injuring four people.
There was no claim of responsibility for that attack. However, a Syrian rebel commander threatened earlier this week to strike against Hezbollah strongholds in retaliation for the militia’s military support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets into Israel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, and the Shiite terror group has threatened to attack Israel in response to reported attacks by Israeli planes inside Syria earlier this month.
Those attacks were carried out to stop advanced weapons transfers from Iran to Hezbollah, according to unnamed American and Israeli sources.
Eisenberg, who’s currently heading a massive national preparedness drill focusing on chemical attacks as well as rocket strikes on the Israeli heartland, said, “The IDF has been following the developments in the North for many months, and that such drills help keep the army prepared [for such situations].”
Last week, Eisenberg said that the outbreak of a war in which Israel would be hit with a “large volume of rocket fire” was a certainty. “Our opponents hold long-range missiles with large warheads and the capacity to carry hundreds of kilos,” he said.
The drill includes preparation for possible missile strikes against Israel, particularly in the greater Tel Aviv area. The first few days will center on protecting civilian populations at public institutions and private households. Two alarms were set to blare Monday, at 12:30 p.m. and 7:05 p.m., and citizens were requested to go to safe rooms or bomb shelters and to stay inside for 10 minutes.
The drill marks the first time an entire network of early warning systems were to be tested. In addition to sirens, civilians were to receive alerts from various sources, including from cellphones, social networks, and the television.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.