This comes after the Israel’s air force bombed a militant target in Lebanon on Friday in retaliation for a cross-border rocket salvo on Thursday.
An Israeli military source said the “terror site” bombed was near Na’ameh, between Beirut and Sidon, but did not immediately provide further details. Israel said Thursday’s rockets, which caused damage but no casualties, were fired by Islamic radicals.
“The pilots reported direct hits to the target.”
Lebanon’ s National News Agency said the target was a position of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC), a hardline but secular militant group which claimed it had nothing to do with Thursday’s rocket fire.
A communique issued later by the Lebanese army command said that an “Israeli warplane violated at 4:00 a.m. Lebanon’s airspace and targeted an area in Na’ameh that contained one of the Palestinian organizations .”
“The rocket attack caused a five meter crater but didn’t cause any human losses or material damage,” the statement pointed out.
The army took the necessary defense measures.
The salvo of four rockets, which caused damage but no casualties, was claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades — an al-Qaida-linked group which claimed similar rocket fire on Israel in 2009 and 2011.
Israeli army spokesman Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai said on Thursday that the rockets were “launched by the global jihad terror organization” — an apparent reference to al-Qaida.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had threatened retaliation. “Anyone who harms us, or tries to harm us, should know — we will strike them,” he said on Thursday.
Two of the four rockets fired from Lebanon on Thursday hit populated areas of northern Israel, causing damage but no casualties.
One struck in Gesher Haziv, a kibbutz east of the Mediterranean coastal town of Nahariya, Agence France Presse correspondents reported. Another hit Shavie Zion, a village between Nahariya and Acre, further south, Israeli media said.
A third rocket was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, the army said. The fourth apparently struck outside Israel.
Thursday’s attack was the first of its kind since November 2011, when the same Palestinian jihadist group fired a volley of rockets from southern Lebanon at Israel. That fire too provoked retaliation by the Israeli military.
Defense sources said that the PFLP-GC base hit was in the Naameh valley.
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine- General Command ( PFLP-GC) has a base in Naa’meh valley and has a number of heavily fortified positions in Lebanon.
Headed by Ahmed Jibril, PFLP-GC is designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and others in the West. It is an extremist Palestinian militant organization that is based in Syria and closely associated with the Syrian regime.
PFLP-GC spokesman Ramez Mustapha denied any link between his group and the rockets fired at Israel on Thursday.
In its Friday statement, the Israeli army again said it “holds the Lebanese government accountable for the attack”.
President Suleiman on Thursday condemned the firing of rockets from Lebanon at Israel as a “violation of Resolution 1701 and Lebanese sovereignty.”
The president called on the relevant authorities to “unveil the perpetrators and refer them to the judiciary.”
Also caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said the rocket attack was a “clear attempt to disrupt the security situation in the South and turn Lebanon again into an arena for settling scores and sending messages in one direction or another.”
“The Lebanese government condemns the incident and considers it a blatant violation of UNSCR 1701,” Mikati added.
Similarly Caretaker FM Mansour told al-Mayadeen TV: “Lebanon does not bear the responsibility for the rocket attack because it does not support the groups that perpetrated it.”
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