JERUSALEM (Jul. 15)
The fighting in Lebanon has once again spilled over into northern Israel.
The Israel Defense Force confirmed Tuesday that Hezbollah fighters had fired several Katyusha rockets at an Israeli army base on the Israeli-Lebanese border and that one of the rockets had fallen into northern Israel.
The rocket landed in an open field in the western Galilee. No one was injured.
Earlier this month, a series of Katyusha rockets slammed into northern Israel following intense fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbollah gunmen in southern Lebanon. At that time, too, the rockets caused no injuries.
Also Tuesday, rockets fired by Hezbollah gunmen landed near Israeli positions in the southern Lebanon security zone. There were no reports of injuries or damage in these attacks.
Hezbollah said in a statement that Tuesday’s attacks were in retaliation for Israeli shelling a day earlier that had killed two Lebanese civilians.
Sources in the IDF northern command denied the charge, saying that Israeli forces have refrained from firing into Lebanese villages, despite what they said were continuing violations by Hezbollah of last year’s cease-fire.
In April 1996, Israel launched a 16-day offensive into Lebanon to stop Hezbollah rocket attacks on Israeli settlements along the northern border.
Under a U.S.-brokered agreement in the wake of the offensive, the two sides agreed to keep civilians and civilian areas out of the cycle of violence in southern Lebanon.
A five-nation committee made up of representatives from the United States, France, Syria, Lebanon and Israel was established to monitor compliance with the terms of the cease-fire.
But the committee has not been able to stem the violence, which has escalated in recent weeks.