Brussels (Brussels Morning) Around 20 rockets were reportedly fired from Lebanon into Israel on Friday, the latest in a series of incidents resulting in an exchange of fire across the Israeli-Lebanese border.
According to the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF), the country’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system intercepted 10 of the 20 rockets that were originally fired. A source within Lebanon’s security forces confirmed to Reuters that rockets had been fired from southern Lebanon.
The latest attack follows an incident this week, when three rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel, hitting uninhabited areas. The IDF responded with artillery fire directed at what it claims was the rocket launch site. Two other large-scale retaliations followed.
Who launched the rockets remains a mystery. Iran-backed Hezbollah fighters stationed in the south of Lebanon deny responsibility for the attacks. Reports by the group’s Al-Manar TV referred to the missiles as “unknown rockets”, in an apparent attempt to suggest that the rockets were not linked to the Hezbollah.
Israeli security forces claim that a group of Palestinian terrorists, believed to have fired more than a dozen rockets on Israel since May, are behind the latest attack. While Israel does not consider that Hezbollah is directly responsible, authorities there nevertheless suspect the group gave its consent to the Palestinian group to initiate the attacks.
Both Israel and Lebanon are currently in a delicate political situation. Israel’s Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, dependent on a razor-thin majority composed of a disparate alliance of parties from across the political spectrum, which was formed for the sole purpose of ousting former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. For the first time in Israeli history, an Arab party is a part of the ruling coalition.
Lebanon, on the other hand, remains politically rudderless. Former Prime Minister Hassan Diab remains in a caretaker role, a year on from his resignation. Meanwhile, the country’s political elites remain incapable of agreeing on a stable government, despite rising pressure from the EU, including threatened sanctions.