Breaking: Rockets on northern Israel

Damage from a rocket that fell near Nahariya, northern Israel

For the first time since the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006 four rockets were fired at northern Israel this evening in the Western Galilee region. One was intercepted by Iron Dome:

Four rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel on Thursday afternoon. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The red alert siren sounded in the cities Nahariya, Acre, Kiryat Shmona and Karmiel, and residents reported hearing explosions.

Lebanese media reported that the IDF promptly retaliated, attacking targets in south Lebanon, but the army denied those reports.

An Israeli Iron Dome battery intercepted one of the rockets. Israeli TV aired footage of minor damage caused by a fragment from the rocket that fell on the outskirts of a town outside Nahariya. It was initially unclear where the other three rockets fell.

Several residents were treated for shock.

Lebanese media reported that two volleys of rockets had been fired from a Palestinian refugee camp near the Lebanese town of Tyre. There was an attempt to fire a third volley, but the missiles fell short of the border. The IDF said four makeshift rocket launchers had been located east of Tyre.

IDF sources said they regarded the incident as a one-off attack by a jihadist group rather than the beginning of a wider campaign. The army also called on northern residents to remain close to bomb shelters, though they could otherwise go back to their normal routines.

A resident of Kibbutz Evron, near Nahariya, told Ynet that the alarm sounded after “two booms” were heard, and that the residents quickly moved into bomb shelters.

“I heard booms,” a resident of Nahariya told Channel 2. “Everyone is in the bomb shelters.”

He said that residents hadn’t heard alarms for seven years — since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

“I was on the phone to my grandma” when the alarms rang out. “I put down the phone and went down to the shelter,” he said.

There were reports Wednesday in Lebanon that Israeli helicopters had circled in the south of the country.

[…]

Rockets are a key tactic of the Lebanese Hezbollah and other terror groups on Israel’s northern and southern borders.

Thousands of projectiles fell on Israel during the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, and Hezbollah has since stockpiled tens of thousands of rockets it has said will be launched at Israeli cities in future fighting.

Israel last week deployed a sixth Iron Dome battery north of Tel Aviv, with an eye to the missile threat from the north.

The situation in Syria seems to be degenerating into something wider.

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