By Mark Lavie for the Associated Press:
JERUSALEM – Two Katyusha rockets fell on northern Israel Sunday, the first fired from Lebanon since last summer’s inconclusive war with Hezbollah guerrillas. No one was hurt, but there was some damage, police and the military said.
Hezbollah denied firing the rockets in a broadcast on the militant group’s Al-
The attack raised the possibility of Israeli reprisal and a new flareup between the two countries. It came as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was arriving in the United States for talks.
“Israel will not succumb to this provocation but will monitor the situation carefully,” said an official with Olmert, indicating that Israel would not hit back. The official requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
There was no immediate comment from the Lebanese government.
One of the rockets hit a factory and the other hit a car. Channel 2 TV’s Arab affairs analyst, Ehud Yaari, said a splinter Palestinian group in Lebanon was probably behind the attack “” not Hezbollah.
Hopefully that “splinter Palestinian group” will be named; otherwise, it is difficult to assess its alliances and goals for itself in the jihad against Israel. But strategically, it benefits the larger jihad groups tremendously, in that their assets and infrastructure are protected while groups that are obscure and harder to pin down do the dirty work of random, low-level attacks. If the pattern continues, it could point to an “outsourcing” of jihad for the sake of plausible deniability on the part of larger groups, and, where applicable, the countries that back them.
The rockets exploded near the northern town of Kiryat Shemona, hard hit during
last summer’s war, when almost 4,000 rockets were fired at Israel. The mayor of the town,
Haim Barbivai, called for a tough response from both the Israeli and Lebanese governments.
“Heaven help us if we have another summer like the last one. That would be a tragedy,” he
told Channel 2.
Eli Bin, director of the Magen David Adom rescue service, said no one was hurt.
Nir Mariash, a local police commander, told Channel 2 that residents in Israel’s north were instructed to “to maintain normal life.”
The privately owned Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation LBC channel reported
three rockets were fired at Israel came from the village of Taibeh, but did not say who fired them.