Fighting erupts in Lebanon after rockets hit Jewish state

JERUSALEM, Dec. 15 (JTA) — Fighting erupted in southern Lebanon over the weekend after rockets were fired across the border into northern Israel. On Saturday, Hezbollah gunmen ambushed an Israeli convoy in the eastern sector of the security zone. The unit included the head of the Israel Defense Force liaison unit in southern Lebanon, Brig. Gen. Eli Amitai. Amitai was lightly wounded from shrapnel. Another member of the unit was also lightly wounded. The forces in the convoy immediately returned fire, killing one of the gunmen. In subsequent searches in the area on Sunday, IDF forces came upon a wounded Hezbollah gunman and killed him. Also Sunday, Israeli jets rocketed Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon. The IDF spokesman said all planes returned safely to base. In another development, Israel submitted a complaint to the five-nation group monitoring a cease-fire in southern Lebanon to protest last Friday night’s Katyusha rocket attack launched from southern Lebanon into the western Galilee. The attack, which caused no injuries or property damage, was the first rocket assault on Israel since April, when the United States brokered a cease-fire that called on Israel and Hezbollah not to launch attacks from or target civilian areas on either side of the border. Hezbollah leaders denied involvement in the rocket attack. IDF officers said Palestinian groups operating in the coastal area, from where the rockets were launched, could be responsible. Israeli officials said that attack was launched from an area under Lebanese control, adding that it was an outright violation of the April cease-fire.

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