Israel hits Lebanon with airstrikes in response to rocket attacks

Israel hits Lebanon with airstrikes in response to rocket attacks

Israel on Thursday launched an airstrike on a Lebanese rocket launch site that the Israeli military says was a response to rockets fired towards the country from Lebanese territory, The Associated Press reported.

The move shows the escalation of tension between the two countries. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) warned Lebanon “against further attempts to harm Israeli civilians and Israel’s sovereignty.”

The strike against Lebanon reportedly hit Mahmoudiya Village, an empty area in the Marjayoun district.

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Tensions between the nations have thickened in the past few days after areas in northern Israel were struck with rockets, causing a bush fire. While Lebanon did not claim responsibility for the attack, it is confirmed that the rockets came from south Lebanon, according to Reuters.

The army said three rockets were launched from Lebanon on Wednesday, two of which hit Israeli territory. Avichai Adraee, the Israeli army’s Arabic-language spokesman, blamed the Lebanese government for the tensions and cautioned that there would be more attacks on Israel from south Lebanon.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said the attack was the first of its kind since 2006 and "indicated the presence of aggressive, escalatory intentions," according to the AP. The president later added that he would be filing a complaint with the United Nations. 

The monthlong war in 2006 fought by Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah killed about 1,200 Lebanese, who were mostly civilians, and about 160 Israelis, who were mostly soldiers.

A U.N. spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, urged both sides to “exercise maximum restraint to avoid further escalation," according to the AP.