IAF carries out airstrike on target near Beirut in response to rockets fired at western Galilee

Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine claim to be target; IDF says "attack is a blatant breach on Israeli sovereignty".

August 23, 2013 04:52
2 minute read.
Israeli police survey damage to a village near Nahariya following Thursday's rocket attack.

damage from lebanon strike in israel 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The Israel Air Force bombed a Palestinian terrorist target in Lebanon overnight Friday, in retaliation for rocket attacks on the western Galilee the previous day.

The site that was bombed belongs to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, and is located near the town of Na’ameh, 7 km. south of Beirut. No on was injured in the strike.

It came hours after terrorists – said by the IDF to belong to a radical Sunni al-Qaida-affiliated group – fired four projectiles at northern Israel, setting off air raid sirens and causing damage to a residential street where one rocket hit.

IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said on Friday, “The echoes of the [IAF] blasts could be heard in Beirut.

The strike forms a clear message by the IDF and Israel to decision-makers in Lebanon whom we see as responsible for yesterday’s rocket attack.”

Army officials stressed that the attack was designed to reinforce Israeli deterrence, and to drive home the message that Israel will respond to any attack on its civilians.

They described the air strike as a statement to the nation’s enemies. The PFLP-GC threatened to retaliate “where and when it sees fit.”

A spokesman told Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television channel that the left-wing, nationalist PFLP-GC was surprised by the Israeli action, since the IDF blamed Sunni Islamists for Thursday’s rockets.

Israel said it holds the Lebanese government responsible for the rocket attacks on Thursday, even though a Sunni group called the Abdallah al-Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon held an assessment with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz on Friday, and said afterward that the Lebanese government is responsible for what occurs in its jurisdiction.

Israel will not accept any attack or provocation against it, Ya’alon said.

“We take a grave view of the rocket fire yesterday at Israel, and we will not allow anyone to disrupt the lives of our citizens. We’re acting responsibly and with judgment to safeguard the security of the state and of Israeli citizens,” he said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned the rocket fire from Lebanon.

Ban urged “all concerned to exercise maximum restraint, and cooperate with UNIFIL in order to prevent an escalation,” a statement released by his office said.

A Lebanese security source said the Israeli air strike targeted a network of tunnels used by the PFLP-GC in hills overlooking the Mediterranean coast. The IAF rocket left a 5- meter crater, he said.

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