The Hezbollah movement in Lebanon said it fired “dozens” of rockets on Friday into open areas of the disputed Shebaa Farms district, provoking Israeli retaliatory attacks for the second day in a row.
It is the first time Hezbollah has directly claimed an attack on Israel since 2019, as tensions mount along the border after a week of tit-for-tat exchanges.
The latest rocket fire on Friday morning came “in response to Israeli airstrikes” that hit southern Lebanon on Thursday, Hezbollah said in a statement.
“The Islamic Resistance has fired dozens of missiles at open area near positions of Israeli occupation forces in the Shebaa Farms,” it said.
An AFP correspondent in southern Lebanon said he heard several explosions and saw smoke rising from the Shebaa Farms.
The Israeli military said it was “currently attacking the launch sites in Lebanon”.
On Thursday, Israel launched airstrikes against Lebanon for the first time in seven years in response to an earlier salvo of cross-border rocket fire. It used to be
Israel has repeatedly warned that it will not allow a power vacuum and a deepening economic crisis in Beirut to undermine security on its northern border.
The Israeli military said it “considers the state of Lebanon responsible for all actions taking place on its territory, and warns against further attempts to harm Israeli civilians and Israel’s sovereignty”.
The Shebaa Farms district is claimed by Lebanon and Hezbollah, but the United Nations, which has maintained a peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon since 1978, considers it part of the Syrian Golan Heights, which Israel has occupied since 1967 and unilaterally annexed in 1981.
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