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Attack on Israel

Rockets from Lebanon struck northern Israel on Sunday, causing no injuries but sparking an Israeli shelling reprisal in a rare flare-up between the two countries.

Residents of the northern Israel town of Kiryat Shmona awoke to a pair of large explosions. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said no injuries or damage were caused from the rocket fire. Shortly after, the Israeli military said it responded with artillery fired toward the source of the launch.

Lebanon's state news agency said the border area was shelled after the rockets hit Israel. The agency said over 20 shells hit the mountainous region around the southern Lebanese border area of Rachaya.

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel "would not tolerate" such attacks against it and held the government and army of Lebanon responsible for any fire emerging from its territory.

"We will not allow incidents such as those of this morning to pass quietly," he said in a statement. "I would not recommend to anyone to test our patience and your determination to protect the security of the people of Israel."

The Israel-Lebanon border has remained mostly quiet since a monthlong war in the summer of 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. There have been sporadic outbursts of violence, most recently earlier this month when a Lebanese army sniper killed an Israeli soldier.

In the most serious incident, Lebanese forces killed a high-ranking Israeli officer in 2010 and Israel responded with artillery fire that killed three Lebanese. However, incidences of rocket fire have been infrequent since the countries agreed to a cease-fire that ended the 2006 war.

Given the years of enmity between the two countries, even the smallest incident raises the risk of sparking a wider conflagration.

There has yet to be a claim of responsibility for Sunday's unprovoked rocket attack.

The Canadian Press


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