Rockets fired from Lebanon toward Israel in major escalation

Posted By on April 7, 2023

Israel launches air strikes on the central part of the Gaza Strip. Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Israeli military attacked Gaza and launched rare strikes against Lebanon overnight in response to a barrage of rockets fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel earlier Thursday. Dozens of rockets were also fired from Gaza overnight.

The big picture: It's the most serious escalation between Lebanon and Israel since the 2006 war. Israel blames Hamas militants in Lebanon and says the Lebanese government is responsible for any attacks coming from its territory.

Catch up quick: The escalation began a day after a violent confrontation between the Israeli police and Palestinian worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem during a police raid at the compound. That violence came despite efforts to de-escalate tensions during Ramadan. The Israeli police raid prompted immediate condemnation by several Arab countries and Palestinian groups.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack from Lebanon.

State of play: Cross-border fighting continued overnight Thursday into Friday, with the IDF saying it had attacked 10 Hamas targets in Gaza, including tunnels and weapons manufacturing sites.

What they're saying: Netanyahu stressed at the beginning of Thursday night's security cabinet meeting that the domestic disputes around the governments judicial overhaul wont prevent Israel from operating against its enemies.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Thursday in a meeting with the Italian defense minister, who is visiting Beirut, that Lebanon condemns the rockets fired toward Israel from its territory and stressed the Lebanese army and UN Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) are intensifying their investigation regarding the incident in order to arrest the perpetrators, according to the Lebanese official news agency.

UNIFIL said in a statement overnight that both Israel and Lebanon have said they do not want a war. "The actions over the past day are dangerous and risk a serious escalation. We urge all parties to cease all actions across the border," the statement added.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement that the Biden administration remains "extremely concerned by the continuing violence [in the region] and we urge all sides to avoid further escalation."

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


Rockets fired from Lebanon toward Israel in major escalation

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