BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Army investigating rocket operations

  • A property is damaged after a rocket fired by militants in south Lebanon on Saturday hit a village near Nahariya in Northern Israel, Sunday, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army is investigating recent rocket attacks on Israel from south Lebanon, with Israeli military sources saying they have been provided information on the suspected perpetrators by Lebanese authorities.

Army investigators are investigating how the rockets were transported, deployed and launched from Lebanese territory, Al-Akhbar newspaper reported Monday.

On Monday morning, Army troops discovered the platform used in Sunday's rocket attack.

"After an inspection operation it had carried out, an Army unit discovered this morning the two launch pads ... and the investigations continue in coordination with the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon to detect the wrongdoers and arrest them," a statement released by the Army Monday read.

Fired from south Lebanon, the two rockets struck northern Israel Sunday night, triggering Israeli retaliatory artillery fire on the outskirts of the Lebanese village of Rashidieh.

Al-Akhbar said the search Sunday also led to the discovery of an unexploded bomb.

Three rockets had been fired from the same area a day earlier, and three others were launched Friday toward Israel from the village of Mari in Hasbaya.

Meanwhile, according to Al-Akhbar, an Israeli security source told the Israeli Channel 10 station Sunday that the Israeli military was doing its best to prevent a security escalation in the north, be it with Lebanon or Syria.

However, the source also stressed that “the eyes of the army are well open, and that it is ready to deal with four frontiers if necessary,” Al-Akhbar reported.

The war correspondent of Channel 10 quoted Israeli security sources as saying that the Israeli army believed that Hezbollah was not behind the rockets, suspecting instead “a Sunni organization or a group from the Palestinian camps in Lebanon is responsible,” according to the same article.

However, other security sources told Haaretz newspaper that while suspicions pointed to Palestinian groups, the army was investigating whether they were facilitated by Hezbollah.

Channel 10 also reported that the incidents did not surprise the Israeli army and that it likely had access to very significant intelligence information about this case and about the Palestinian organizations in Lebanon.

Channel 10’s reporter said that the Lebanese side “has helped a lot in the investigations, by submitting to us evidence pointing to the side responsible for the rocket-launchings,” Al-Akhbar reported.

The Israeli army, according to Channel 10, expects attacks to follow, but is convinced that Lebanon will pursue the perpetrators, because it is in Lebanon's interest not to pull the Gaza war toward its borders.

Only hours before Sunday's attack, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon UNIFIL had urged the Lebanese and Israeli militaries to exercise “maximum self-restraint” and cooperate with UNIFIL to maintain calm on the borders.

Separately, Lebanese police Monday released a man known as Abu Qais, who was arrested along with Hussein Atwe over suspicions of participating in the launching of rockets Friday from south Lebanon toward Israel.

According to media reports, the suspect, who comes from the Hebbarieh village turned out to have no relation to the operation.

The ISF Information Branch had apprehended Abu Qais in Hebbarieh after they found blood stains in his car, which sparked a search of the area's hospitals for suspects.

The National News Agency reported that Atwe confessed to belonging to extremist groups and that two Palestinian men were with him when he launched the rockets.

Authorities are searching for the two suspects.

 
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Summary

The Lebanese Army is investigating recent rocket attacks on Israel from south Lebanon, with Israeli military sources saying they have been provided information on the suspected perpetrators by Lebanese authorities.

Army investigators are investigating how the rockets were transported, deployed and launched from Lebanese territory, Al-Akhbar newspaper reported Monday.

On Monday morning, Army troops discovered the platform used in Sunday's rocket attack.

The Israeli army, according to Channel 10, expects attacks to follow, but is convinced that Lebanon will pursue the perpetrators, because it is in Lebanon's interest not to pull the Gaza war toward its borders.


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