Israeli jets bomb southern Lebanon after rocket attacks

Palestinian terrorist group confirms IAF early-morning raid south of Beirut; no casualties reported in airstrike

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Two Israeli F-15I 'Ra'am' fighter jets during maneuvers (CC BY-TSgt Kevin J. Gruenwald/USA/Wikimedia)
Two Israeli F-15I 'Ra'am' fighter jets during maneuvers (CC BY-TSgt Kevin J. Gruenwald/USA/Wikimedia)

Israeli fighter jets bombed targets south of Beirut early Friday morning in what the IDF spokesperson said was retaliation for rocket attacks against northern Israel the day before. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the attack.

According to the Israeli military, the pilots reported a pinpoint strike on terrorist targets near the coastal town of al-Naameh. The IDF reiterated that it holds the Lebanese government responsible for Thursday’s rocket fire into northern Israel.

IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai announced on Facebook just before 5 a.m. Friday morning that “In response to rocket fire at the north [on Thursday] afternoon, IAF aircraft struck a terrorist target south of Beirut overnight.

“At this hour, in which our planes returned safely, I wish a good and quiet morning to all residents of Israel and especially residents of the north and those traveling there,” Mordechai wrote.

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Residents of Beirut took to Twitter and reported explosions and what they believed were Israeli aircraft flying over al-Naameh, approximately 15 kilometers south of the Lebanese capital. According to several users, the target was the headquarters of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).

Ramez Mustafa, a Lebanon-based official with the PFLP-GC, said the raid occurred at 4 a.m. and caused no casualties or damage.

The IDF spokesperson would not confirm whether the PFLP-GC’s headquarters were the target of Friday’s strike.

According to University of Maryland researcher Phillip Smyth, the PFLP-GC is an ally of Hezbollah, and also serves as a proxy to Iran and Syrian President Bashar Assad in Lebanon.

Friday’s foray into Lebanon came less than a day after four rockets fired from Lebanon struck Israel’s north. There were no reports of casualties, but damage was caused to several homes in the Nahariya and Acre areas. The red-alert siren sounded in the cities of Nahariya, Acre, Kiryat Shmona and Karmiel.

Lebanese media reported that the IDF promptly retaliated, attacking targets in south Lebanon, but the army had previously denied those reports.

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