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Hezbollah Fires Rockets Into North Israel

From a shocked Associated Press:

Israeli soldiers patrol the Israeli-Lebanese border. Several rockets slammed into northern Israel from Lebanon on Thursday with the army returning fire, as the Jewish state entered the 13th day of a massive offensive on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Attack on Israel from Lebanon threatens 2nd front

By IBRAHIM BARZAK and STEVE WEIZMAN

JERUSALEM (AP) — Lebanese militants fired at least three rockets into Israel early Thursday, threatening to open a new front for the Jewish state as it pushed forward with a bloody offensive in the Gaza Strip that has killed nearly 700 people. Israel responded with mortar shells.

The rockets that exploded in Israel’s north raised the specter of renewed hostilities with Hezbollah, just 2 1/2 years after Israel battled the guerrilla group to a 34-day stalemate. Hezbollah started the 2006 war as Israel was battling Palestinian militants in Gaza.

No group claimed responsibility and Lebanon’s government, wary of conflict, quickly condemned the rocket fire, which lightly injured two Israelis…

One of the Lebanese rockets went through the roof of a retirement home in Nahariya, about five miles from the border, and exploded in the kitchen as some 25 residents were eating breakfast in the adjacent dining hall. One resident suffered a broken leg, another bruises, apparently from slipping on the floor after emergency sprinklers came on.

"The rocket entered through the roof, hurling the water heaters into the air. It went through bedrooms upstairs and then into the kitchen. There was a serious blast," said Henry Carmelli, the home’s manager.

Israel has repeatedly said it was prepared for a possible attack on the north since it launched its bruising campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza on Dec. 27. Israel has mobilized thousands of reserve troops for such a scenario, and leaders have warned Hezbollah of dire consequences if it enters the fighting.

"We are following what is happening in the north. We are prepared and will respond as necessary," Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora condemned both the attacks and Israel’s retaliatory fire. The attacks are "the work of parties who stand to lose from the continued stability in Lebanon," Saniora said.

Hezbollah, which did not comment, has said it does not want to draw Lebanon into a new war. Small Palestinian groups, who have rocketed Israel twice since the end of the 2006 war, have recently threatened to open a new front against Israel if the fighting in Gaza continued.

An Israeli Cabinet minister, Meir Sheetrit, suggested that Lebanese splinter groups, not Hezbollah, were responsible. He said the government had no interest in renewing hostilities.

"Even though we have the ability to respond with great force, the response needs to be carefully considered and responsible," Sheetrit told Army Radio. "We don’t need to play into their hands."

Shortly after the first rockets fell around the town of Nahariya, five miles south of the Lebanese border, Lebanese TV stations reported Israeli mortar fire on open areas in southern Lebanon. The Israeli military confirmed it carried out "pinpoint fire" in response without elaborating…

As the article suggests, Hezbollah is now denying this. After days of threatening this very thing – and promising still more.

And of course our media believe them.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 8th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

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