Gantz Warns Lebanon Against Further Rocket Fire

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued a stern warning to Lebanon on Monday, saying that any additional rockets fired at Israel will be met with retaliatory attacks.

“The State of Israel demands that the Lebanese government take responsibility for what happens on its territory,” Gantz said, referring to a rocket launched at Israel in the early hours of Monday. The IDF with artillery fire that it said “targeted the source of the launch” and “an infrastructure target,” without elaborating.

“If terrorism and violence continue, we will know to use the necessary force against the right targets,” Gantz added, in comments provided by his office.

According to the Lebanese army, the IDF fired 50 artillery shells at several locations in south Lebanon.

No damage was reported in the Israeli strikes, according to Lebanese authorities and media.

The Lebanese army also said it located two rockets that were aimed at Israel and defused them.

IDF spokesperson Ran Kochav said he believed Palestinian groups in Lebanon were responsible.

“It is estimated that these are Palestinian factions and that this is related to the Ramadan period and the events of Har Habayis,” he told Kan public radio.

The IDF said that an explosion was reported shortly after midnight near Kibbutz Metzuba, just miles from the border with Lebanon.

They further said that no sirens were sounded and no alert was declared in northern Israel when the rocket, which it did not identify in its posting, struck.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system does not necessarily intercept projectiles if they appear to be on track to hit unpopulated areas.

The Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Akhbar newspaper said a rocket was shot from the area south of the city Tyre.

Aroldo Lazaro, head of the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL), urged “calm and restraint in this volatile and ongoing situation,” the mission said.

An exchange of fire has been rare between Israel and Lebanon since the 2006 Second Lebanon War with Hezbollah. Last August, a rocket attack from Lebanon wounded several Israelis.

Israel has seen a wave of violence in recent weeks, with Yerushalayim’s Old City serving as a flashpoint for clashes that threaten to destabilize other areas, including Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip.

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