August 4, 2021
Two rockets launched from Lebanon on Wednesday struck Israel, which responded with artillery fire, amid heightened regional tensions over an alleged Iranian attack on an oil tanker in the Gulf last week. There were no casualties on the Israeli side of the hilly frontier.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket strike, launched from an area of south Lebanon under the sway of Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces.
In a statement, Israel’s military said three rockets were launched from Lebanon, with one falling short of the Israeli border and the others striking inside Israel. Witnesses in Lebanon also reported that several rockets were fired at Israel.
“In response, (Israeli) artillery forces attacked Lebanese territory,” the military said. Some two hours after the initial shelling, the military said its artillery had fired again at targets, which it did not identify, along the frontier.
The border has been mostly quiet since Israel fought a 2006 war against Hezbollah, which has advanced rockets.
But small Palestinian factions in Lebanon have fired sporadically on Israel in the past, and two rockets were launched at Israel on July 20, causing no damage or injuries. Israel responded to that incident with artillery fire.
The border incident comes after a fatal attack last Thursday blamed on Iran on a tanker off the coast of Oman. Iran has denied any involvement.
On Tuesday, Britain, Romania and Liberia told the United Nations Security Council it was “highly likely” that Iran used one or more drones to strike the Mercer Street – a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product vessel managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime.