Lebanon: UN reports rocket fire from south towards Israel and Israeli mortar retaliation

UNIFIL peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. Photo: UNIFIL/Pasqual Gorriz

20 December 2015 – Three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israel today, and Israel retaliated with some eight rounds of 120mm mortar, but no casualties have so far been reported from either side, according to United Nations peacekeepers.

“This is a serious incident in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area,” UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano said in a statement, referring to the resolution establishing a ceasefire after fighting between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.

“It is imperative to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this attack. Additional troops have been deployed on the ground and patrols have been intensified across our area of operations in coordination with the LAF (Lebanese army) to prevent any further incidents,” he added, noting that there has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket attack.

“At the same time, there is a need to act with restraint and the parties have reassured me of their continued commitment to maintain the cessation of hostilities. At this time the situation along the Blue Line (between Israel and Lebanon) is calm.”

Israel informed UNIFIL that two rockets impacted in northern Israel, and a third fell in the sea.

In cooperation with the parties UNIFIL, which currently has nearly 10,500 personnel deployed in the area, has launched an investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the incident as well as to locate the launching sites of the rocket fire.


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