Israeli artillery strikes across the length of Lebanese border after rocket attacks

Rocket warning sirens sound in Israeli towns near the border

Israel fired 92 artillery shells into Lebanon on Wednesday in response to rocket fire, the Israeli military said, in the most significant cross-border exchange since Prime Minister Naftali Bennet took office.

The Israeli military said its artillery forces were "attacking along the length of the Lebanese border in response to rocket fire into Israeli territory".

Rocket warning sirens sounded in Israel earlier on Wednesday after two rockets were launched from Lebanon, the Israeli military said. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The military said in a statement the alerts sounded in Qiryat Shemona, Kfar Giladi and Tel Hai – three communities near the border with Lebanon.

"Following the report regarding the sirens that sounded a short while ago at Qiryat Shemona, Kfar Giladi, and Tel Hai, three rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory. Two of them fell in Israeli territory, one of which did not cross into Israeli territory," the Israeli military said.

The border has been mostly quiet since Israel fought a 2006 war against Hezbollah guerrillas, who have influence in southern Lebanon and a stockpile of advanced rockets.

But small Palestinian factions in Lebanon have fired sporadically on Israel in the past, and two rockets were launched at Israel on July 20, causing no damage or injuries. Israel responded to that incident with artillery fire.

The United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon responded to the incident saying that UNIFIL’s Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Stefano Del Col, was in immediate contact with both parties.

Major General Del Col urged both sides to "cease-fire and to exercise maximum restraint to avoid further escalation, especially on this solemn anniversary".

Lebanon is marking the one year anniversary of the deadly blast in the Beirut port.

Updated: August 4th 2021, 5:20 PM