Arrests Made as Rockets Fired from Southern Lebanon Land in Israel, Drawing Retaliationإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Several rockets were fired on northern Israel from the outskirts of the town of Mari in Hasbaya on Friday morning, drawing retaliatory Israeli artillery fire, the Lebanese army and the state-run National News Agency said.
The Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau later arrested a suspect linked to the attack.
The Lebanese army said militants fired three rockets between 1:00 am and and 6:00 am.
But the Israeli army said one projectile fired from Lebanon struck northern Israel causing no harm or damages.
"One projectile hit an open space near Kfar Yuval, between (northern Israeli towns) Metula and Kiryat Shmona," a military spokeswoman told Agence France Presse.
Israel public radio said two Katyusha rockets slammed into an area north of Kiryat Shmona, one of which struck a road which was deserted at the time.
Military officials told the radio said they believed the rockets were fired by a small Palestinian group in an act of solidarity with militants from Gaza's Islamist Hamas movement who are engaged in a major confrontation with the Israeli army since Tuesday.
They said it was unlikely the rockets were fired by Hizbullah movement.
A third rocket failed to launch because of a technical malfunction in the area of Ain Arab at around 2:00 am. The rocket exploded while still on its launchpad, NNA said.
According to Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3), the Lebanese army found military gear and blood stains in the area.
The ISF Intelligence Bureau later arrested Hussein Azza Atweh in the town of al-Habarieh.
He was severely wounded while firing a rocket towards Israel at dawn, reported MTV.
VDL (93.3) later said that the suspect is a member of an extremist group, confessing that he was accompanied by two Palestinians when firing the rockets.
The army said it also defused two more rockets at the scene.
Security forces and the army drew a tight dragnet in the two areas to search for the suspects standing behind the attack.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for it.
The Israeli army retaliated by firing about a dozen artillery shells on the outskirts of Kfarshouba and surrounding areas.
Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said artillery units had fired a barrage at "suspicious positions" sighted over the border.
A Lebanese security source said "no one was hurt, the shelling hit the fields, not houses.
“The situation at the border is now calm, and one man has been detained by the security forces for questioning," said the source.
NNA identified the suspect as Samir Hussein Abou Qais, who hails from the town of al-Habariya.
It said the ISF Intelligence Branch arrested him after finding blood stains inside the Renault Rapid he was driving.
The ISF suspected that the person behind the failed missile launch in Ain Arab had used the car to escape.
UNIFIL said in a press release that Commander Major-General Paolo Serra is “in close contact with the parties urging maximum restraint in order to prevent any escalation of the situation.”
It added that peacekeepers reinforced their “presence on the ground and intensified patrols across the area of operations to prevent any further incidents.”
Serra said: “This is a serious incident in violation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area.”
“The need of the time is to maintain security vigil and to exercise utmost restraint against any provocation,” he added.