Lebanon News

More rockets from south Lebanon hit Israel

A general view of the Tyre-Qulayleh area, where rockets were fired into Israel on Saturday. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

SIDON, Lebanon: Two rockets were fired at Israel from south Lebanon Monday night, in the fourth such attack in as many days, security sources told The Daily Star.

The rockets were launched from the area of Qulayleh near the southern port city of Tyre. The Israeli army confirmed that the projectiles hit the Jewish state, prompting Israeli artillery to shell the launch site.

Some of the rockets launched since Friday were fired from the same area.

Meanwhile, a suspect linked to the recent rocket attacks across the border from south Lebanon into Israel was arrested by Lebanese security services near the Palestinian Rashidieh refugee camp, a security source told The Daily Star.

The source said the Army had imposed strict measures in the region south of the Litani River that is bound by Resolution 1701, which ended Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon.

The resolution bans Hezbollah from maintaining an armed presence in the area, restricting it to forces from the Army and the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon.

No information was available on the identity of the detainee.

The source said all vehicles entering the area, as well as anyone entering the Rashidieh camp near Tyre, are subjected to vigilant inspection. News of the fresh security measures emerged as the Army continued its investigation into the attacks.

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

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. The rocket attacks came as Israel launches a brutal aggression against Gaza Strip since last week.

While international pressure for a truce is growing, there appears no signs that hostilities which have killed more than 170 people in Gaza would end soon.

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 UNIFIL to detect the wrongdoers and arrest them,” the Army said Monday.

Army investigators are also looking into how the rockets were transported, deployed and launched from Lebanese territory, local daily Al-Akhbar reported, adding that the search Sunday also led to the discovery of an unexploded bomb.

Only hours before Sunday’s attack, UNIFIL had urged the Lebanese and Israeli militaries to exercise “maximum self-restraint” and cooperate with peacekeepers to maintain calm on the borders.

A UNIFIL team inspected the site of the rocket launch and its surroundings Monday.

Separately, 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.

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 hospitals for suspects. Atwe, from Lebanon’s Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya Islamist group, confessed to have fired the rockets Friday. The group, however, said that Atwe acted alone, stressing that it had made no decision to fire rockets on Israel.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 15, 2014, on page 3.




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