Israel bombs Lebanon in the biggest episode of tension between the two countries since 2006
Tension is growing in the Middle East after a new morning of violence. Israeli forces have shelled the Gaza Strip and targets of the Islamist Hamas movement in southern Lebanon. In addition, in the last few hours, Palestinian militias from the Gaza Strip have fired 44 rockets at Israel.
Three Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank
Of the total number of projectiles launched, as reported by the Army, nine have been unsuccessful shots, 12 have hit the Mediterranean Sea and 23 have crossed into Israeli territory. Among those who have crossed, 14 have fallen in unpopulated areas, eight have been intercepted by Israeli air defense systems and one has hit a residence in the Sderot community, causing damage but no injuries.
A military spokesman has also specified that the Israeli retaliatory bombings have hit three targets of the Palestinian group Hamas in southern Lebanon and 10 targets in the Gaza Strip.
The current escalation of tension began in the early hours of Wednesday morning with a strong repression by the Israeli Police against Palestinian faithful in the Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem. These riots left a balance of more than 30 Palestinians injured and some 350 arrested, and triggered the launching -from Gaza- of the first rockets of the current exchange of fire.
The attacks this Friday come after a major rise in tension this Thursday, with the launch of 36 rockets from Lebanon – the largest attack from that country since 2006 – and seven projectiles from Gaza.
Israel has blamed Palestinian groups for the shooting from Lebanon and has warned that it will not allow Hamas to “operate from inside” that country.
An Israeli military spokesman has stressed that they assume that the shots on Thursday were carried out with the knowledge of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah and added that they also consider “the State of Lebanon responsible for every aggression that emanates from its territory.” Asked about the continuation of hostilities, the spokesman stated that “nobody wants an escalation at this time” and that if the attacks cease, the bombings will cease.
However, the Army has announced this Thursday the deployment of infantry and artillery troops on the borders with Gaza and Lebanon, in order to “strengthen the defense against possible scenarios.”
Two women murdered in the West Bank
Also this Friday, two Israeli women were killed and a third seriously injured in an alleged shooting attack in the northern occupied West Bank, according to Israeli sources. A spokesman for the Magen David Adom emergency service has specified that the incident is being investigated as a “terrorist attack”, terminology used for attacks perpetrated by Palestinians.
Hamas denounces damage to a hospital in Gaza
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has denounced that the Israeli bombardments have reached a hospital in the enclave, although no injuries have been caused so far.
The Gaza Ministry of Health has reported that the Al Durra Children’s Hospital in Gaza City has been damaged by shrapnel during the Israeli attacks this morning. “The bombardment caused a state of confusion and fear among medical personnel, sick children and their companions,” the Ministry said in a statement.
On the other hand, it has indicated that this attack “is a clear violation of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Convention, which stipulates the protection of health institutions and protects them from military attacks.”
Lebanon will file a complaint with the UN
The Government of Lebanon, for its part, has announced this Friday that it will file a complaint with the UN Security Council for the Israeli attack carried out at dawn against its territory in response to a rocket fire, considering it a “flagrant” violation. of his sovereignty.
The head of Lebanese diplomacy, Abdullah Bou Habib, has ordered the country’s permanent mission to the United Nations to register an “official complaint” in relation to “the deliberate Israeli shelling and aggression early today in areas south of the Lebanon,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The measure was agreed upon with the Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, after Israel attacked targets of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement in southern Lebanon in the last few hours.
The Lebanese Foreign Ministry has considered the neighboring country’s response as “a flagrant violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, a flagrant violation of (Security) Council resolution 1701 and a threat to the stability enjoyed by southern Lebanon.” according to the note.
Last night, Mikati condemned the rocket attack, which the Jewish state attributes to Palestinian armed groups based in Lebanon, and rejected “the use of Lebanese territory to carry out operations that unbalance stability”, while asking to avoid any “escalation ”.
This morning, the Lebanese Defense Minister, Maurice Slim, maintained a conciliatory tone during a meeting with his Italian counterpart, Guido Crosetto, to whom he conveyed the Army’s interest in “controlling security” and “maintaining stability in the south ”.
The UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (UNIFUL) has also assured that both the nation of cedars and Israel have told them that they “do not want a war.”
However, Slim has stressed that they are willing to “face any aggression”, according to the Ministry of Defense on its Twitter account.