BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army said Wednesday that it arrested two Palestinians involved in the rocket attacks on Israel, hours after a rocket fired overnight fell short of its target and landed inside south Lebanon.
In a statement, the military said Army intelligence personnel apprehended Palestinian Khalil Kharraz and his brother Hussein, who confessed to transporting rockets to the launch site on July 13 and 14.
The detainees are being interrogated to identify any accomplices.
Last week, the Army arrested Hussein Izzat Atwe, who belongs to Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya and confessed to firing rockets on Israel from the Hasbaya village of Mari last Friday.
Atwe has reportedly said that his move was in retaliation for Israel’s aggression on Gaza.
A security source told The Daily Star that two rockets were fired from the Khreibeh area in the Arkoub region at 1 a.m., with one landing in Wadi Qais near the southern border village of Khiam.
Security forces could not determine where the other rocket had landed, the source added.
Unidentified militants have launched salvoes of rockets from Lebanese territory toward Israel for the past five days, prompting Israeli retaliatory shelling of Lebanese villages late Monday night.
The Lebanese Army along with the U.N. interim Force in Lebanon have beefed up their presence and patrols to prevent a possible escalation on the border, which has been relatively calm since 2006.
On Tuesday, U.N. Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly condemned both the rocket attacks on Israel and the Israeli retaliatory action, saying that UNIFIL had launched an investigation in coordination with the Lebanese Army in order to prevent their recurrence.
“These are clear violations of Resolution 1701 and pose a serious threat to the calm which has prevailed in the area, and to stability more generally,” the U.N. special coordinator said.
Plumbly called on parties “to exercise restraint and to cooperate with UNIFIL in implementation of Resolution 1701 to prevent their recurrence and any escalation.”
The rocket attacks have been linked to Israel’s ongoing military offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which has now killed more than 200 Palestinians while the first Israeli death in the renewed fighting happened Tuesday.