Calm restored to southern Lebanon after firing of rockets towards Israel

There were no reports of casualties or damage, and the shelling did not appear to signal the opening of a new front

A patrol unit of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is stationed in the southernmost Lebanese town of Naqura by the border with Israel, on May 4, 2021. AFP Photo
A patrol unit of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is stationed in the southernmost Lebanese town of Naqura by the border with Israel, on May 4, 2021. AFP Photo

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said it is enhancing security control, in co-ordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces, after it detected the firing of rockets from Rashaya Al Foukhar, north of Kfar Choub in southern Lebanon.

"Immediately after we were also informed by the parties. IDF (Israel Defence Forces) returned artillery fire directed at location from where rockets originated," UNIFIL said on Twitter.

Its head, Stefano Del Col, was immediately in contact with counterparts in the Lebanese army and Israel’s military commands, "urging the parties to exercise maximum restraint in order to prevent any escalation of the situation," UNIFIL said.

"The IDF has now stopped the fire."

UNIFIL said it is supporting the Lebanese army in the search operation in the area and has intensified patrols "to prevent any further incidents that endanger the safety of the local population and the security of southern Lebanon."

"UNIFIL Head of Mission remains in contact with the parties to ensure stability in the area and decrease existing tension," it said.

Six shells were fired from Lebanon towards northern Israel on Monday, but fell short of crossing the border, the Israeli military said.

In response, artillery was fired at "the sources of the launches" in Lebanon.

A Lebanese security source told Reuters shells were heard being fired from south Lebanon and efforts were being made to identify the location. The source said about 22 shells were fired by Israeli artillery on Lebanese territory.

There were no reports of casualties or damage, and the shelling did not appear to signal the opening of a new front in Israel's fighting with militants in the Gaza Strip.

Updated: May 18, 2021 11:23 AM

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