Israeli army fires into Lebanon after Hezbollah missile attack | World | Ammon News


Israeli army fires into Lebanon after Hezbollah missile attack


[9/1/2019 9:44:19 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Israel's military said it has fired into southern Lebanon after a number of anti-tank missiles targeted an Israeli army base and vehicles near the border.

The missiles hit several of their targets on Sunday, said the Israeli army, which said it returned fire following the attack.

According to Hezbollah, the missiles launched from Lebanon destroyed a tank, killing and wounding those inside it, AFP news agency reported.

In its statement, the Israeli army said "a number of anti-tank missiles were fired from Lebanon towards an Israel Defense Forces base and military vehicles".

"A number of hits have been confirmed," the Israeli army added. "The Israel Defense Forces is responding with fire towards the sources of fire and targets in southern Lebanon."

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reporting from the Lebanese capital of Beirut, said people were bracing for a response like this from Hezbollah.

"It [Hezbollah] is blaming Israel for killing two of its members inside Syria, and it is blaming Israel for what it says were two armed drones inside the southern suburbs of Beirut," she said.

"This is the first time Hezbollah is claiming an attack inside Israel since the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel."

Al Jazeera correspondent Harry Fawcett said Israel had most probably been preparing for a retaliation by Israel since last Sunday, when Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech that Israel "must pay a price" and that "the need for a response is decided".

"I think Israel has been ready when Nasrallah made his speech last Sunday when he said that Israel had breached the terms of the rules of engagement that had been in effect since the end of the last conflict in 2006," Fawcett said from northern Israel.

The incident comes hours after the Lebanese army claimed an Israeli drone violated its airspace and dropped incendiary material and sparked a fire in a pine forest near the border.

Lebanese state news agency NNA said Israeli forces fired flare bombs on Saturday.

A statement by the Israeli army only said the fires near the border "originate with operations by our forces in the area".

Shortly before Nasrallah spoke last week, Israel's army announced that it had ordered extra forces to deploy to the "northern command" along the border with Lebanon.

Tensions between the two countries has increased over the last week, after Hezbollah accused Israel of flying explosive-laden drones into the group's stronghold in the Lebanese capital.

At the time, the Iran-backed movement said one drone had landed on the roof of a building housing Hezbollah's media office, while a second drone exploded midair.

Israeli media has since reported that the drones were targeting hardware for mixing the propellant used in precision-guided missiles.

Hezbollah and Lebanese officials have not responded to those reports.

On Wednesday, the Lebanese army claimed it had fired upon Israeli drones violating its airspace, forcing the aircraft to return across the border.

*Agencies

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