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Israeli forces fire into Lebanon after rocket attacks

By AFP - Jul 20,2021 - Last updated at Jul 20,2021

A member of Israeli forces walks past tanks positioned near the northern Israeli settlement of Shtula along the border with Lebanon, on Tuesday (AFP photo)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israel shelled Lebanon early Tuesday in response to earlier rocket attacks, the Israeli army said, as the United Nations urged all sides to show "maximum restraint".

The Israeli army said "two rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory", with one intercepted by air defences while the other struck open ground.

"In response, a short while ago [Israeli] artillery struck in Lebanese territory," the army said.

A Lebanese security source told AFP the rockets were fired at Israel from the Qlaileh area of southern Lebanon, where a third rocket was also found.

The source said the Lebanese army had not identified the group responsible for the launch.

The UN peacekeeping force in the border region, UNIFIL, said it had boosted security in the area and "launched an investigation" in collaboration with the Lebanese military.

"UNIFIL is in direct contact with the parties to urge maximum restraint and avoid further escalation," it said in a statement.

The last time rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel was in May, during an 11-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip.

In recent weeks, Israeli security officials have expressed growing concern over the deepening economic crisis in Lebanon and its ramifications for border security.

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