Israel on Thursday launched an airstrike and a heavy artillery strike on a Lebanese rocket launch site that had fired on Israel a day before. Three rockets had been fired from the site into the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona. Two had landed in farmland sparking fires and the third was intercepted by the Israeli “Iron Dome” air defense systems

Kiryat Shmona is a town of 20,000 people located about six miles from the border between Israel and Lebanon. 

No one claimed responsibility for the Wednesday rocket attack on Israel, but the region that the rocket launch site is located is controlled by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group.

Some Israelis believe that the rockets were fired by a Palestinian faction that is residing in Lebanon and has fired on Israel in the past. 

Israel Calls Lebanon Responsible

Israeli firemen respond to a fire in Kiryat Shmona after rockets fired from Lebanon sparked fires. (AP photo)

Avichai Adraee, the Arabic-language spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), said that the Lebanese government is responsible for what happens on its territory and warned against more attacks on Israel from southern Lebanon.

“[Military] fighter jets struck the launch sites and infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon from which the rockets were launched,” the IDF stated adding that it also struck an area that had hosted rocket launches in the past.

The Lebanese military reported that the Israelis launched 92 artillery shells on Lebanese villages and started a fire in the village of Rashaya al-Fukhar. It added that security patrols and checkpoints were being set up and it is investigating the source of the rocket fire. 

Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV has reported that Israeli warplanes had carried out two raids on the outskirts of the Lebanese town of Mahmudiya, about 12 km (7.5 miles) from the Israeli border. There were no reports of casualties.