Israel shells S Lebanon in response to rocket attack

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Israeli army on Thursday shelled with artillery the outskirts of the southern Lebanese town of al-Qulayla in response to a rocket attack from Lebanon.

An Israeli armoured military vehicle patrols along the border with Lebanon near the northern Arab-Israeli village of Arab al-Aramshe on March 15, 2023. (File photo: CFP)

Israel's state-owned Kan TV reported that at least 30 rockets were fired at the Galilee region in northern Israel. Five of them hit roads and buildings and the rest were intercepted by Israel's aerial defense systems.

Hezbollah on Thursday denied firing rockets from Lebanon into northern Israel, Lebanese local TV channel MTV reported.

The Israeli military did not immediately comment on the reports.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said in a statement that the situation on the Lebanese-Israeli border is dangerous, urging the two parties to avoid further escalation after the exchange of rockets earlier in the day.

For its part, Lebanon's Foreign Affairs Ministry reaffirmed "Lebanon's full respect and commitment to UN Security Council Resolution 1701."

"Lebanon is keen on calm and stability in southern Lebanon and calls on the international community to pressure Israel to stop the escalation," the ministry said.

It added that Lebanon expresses its readiness to cooperate with the peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon and take appropriate measures to restore calm and stability.

This was one of the worst rocket fires at northern Israel since the full-fledged war between Israel and Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese group, in 2006.

The incident came hours after Israeli police forces raided for a second consecutive day the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem's Old City, firing gas canisters and stun grenades at worshipers.

Militants in the Gaza Strip responded to the raids with rocket fire at southern Israel, which did not cause injuries.