Residents of the Druze-majority southern Lebanese village of Chouya stopped a truck-mounted multiple launch rocket system belonging to Hezbollah Friday, detaining organization members until Lebanese Army soldiers could arrive.
Locals accused Hezbollah of launching rockets at Israel from their village and endangering their lives by firing at Israel from civilian areas.
When a Hezbollah member tried to move the rocket launcher, locals began to attack the terrorist operative and his car.
In videos posted to social media, Chouya residents are seen gathering around the launcher as Lebanese soldiers appear nearby.
Shortly after the incident, Hezbollah issued a statement saying it had fired rockets at Israel from “a wooded area totally far from residential areas, to preserve the security of citizens.” It said the truck-mounted system had merely been passing through Chouya after having been used to fire rockets into northern Israel from a nearby wooded area.
Walid Jumblatt, Lebanon’s leading Druze politician, urged calm after the incident. “We hope that we all exit this tense atmosphere on social media,” he wrote on Twitter.
On Friday, Hezbollah fired a barrage of rockets at the Israeli Golan Heights and Kiryat Shmona. The rockets headed toward populated areas were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, while others were allowed to fall in open areas.
Hezbollah said that Friday’s attack was a response to Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon earlier in the week, which came in response to previous cross-border rocket fire on Israel.
In a speech marking 15 years since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called the incident in Chouya “disgraceful.”
He said, “If we could fire on the same [Israeli] area from Shiite concentrations or from our homes, we wouldn’t fire from your area.”
He said he “salutes everyone who has stood by on in our years of battle against the Israeli enemy. Our main responsibility now is to maintain the successes of the resistance.”