Israel military said it has fired into southern Lebanon after a number of anti-tank missiles targeted anIsraeliarmy base and vehicles near the border.
The missiles hit several of their targets in the Israeli border town of Avivim, said the Israeli army, which said it returned fire following the attackon Sunday.
Israel said the attack did not lead to any casualties on its side.
In its statement, the Israeli army said “a number of anti-tank missiles were fired from Lebanon towards anIsrael Defense Forcesbase and military vehicles “.
“A number of hits have been confirmed,” the Israeli army added.
Following the attack, Israel responded with shelling, claiming to have struck at least 100 targets inside Lebanon.
The Lebanese army said Israel fired shells towards the border towns of Yaroun and Maroun al-Ras in response to the missile attack.
Israeli media also reported at least one air strike took place.
Anti-tank missiles fired from Lebanon hit IDF military positions in northern Israel. We returned fire towards the source of the attack in southern Lebanon.
We will continue to update as the situation develops.
–Israel Defense Forces(@IDF)September 1, 2019
Following Sunday’s back and forth fire, Lebanese Prime MinisterSaad Haririsaid he had called US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and France’s top diplomatto discuss the events..
Hariri’s office said he made the calls “asking the United States and France to intervene in the face of developments at the southern border , Reuters news agency reported.
TheUnited NationsUNIFIL mission which is present in the border region between the two countries, called for restraint from both sides in a statement to Al Jazeera.
“The head of mission is in close contact with the parties, urging maximum restraint and asking to seize any activities that are endangering the cessation of hostilities,” UNIFIL told Al Jazeera.
The missiles launched from Lebanonwere launched at the Israeli border town of Avivim[Al Jazeera]
Hezbollah retaliation was expected
Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from the Lebanese capital of Beirut, said people were bracing for a response like this from Hezbollah.
“It [Hezbollah] is blaming Israel for killing two of its members inside Syria, and it is blaming Israel for what it says were two armed drones inside the southern suburbs of Beirut,” she said.
“This is the first time Hezbollah is claiming an attack inside Israel since the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. “
Al Jazeera correspondent Harry Fawcett said Israel had most probably been preparing for a retaliation by Hezbollah since last Sunday, when Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallahsaid in a televised speechthat Israel “must pay a price” and that “the need for a response is decided” .
“”I think Israel has been ready when Nasrallah made his speech last Sunday when he said that Israel had breached the terms of the rules of engagement that had been in effect since the end of the last conflict in 2006, “Fawcett said from northern Israel.
Fawcett added that both an Israeli cabinet member and the Israeli army radio did not say anything about casualties.
Tensions between the two countries has increased over the last week, after Hezbollah accused Israel of flying explosive-laden drones into the group’s stronghold in the Lebanese capital[Jalaa Marey/AFP]
The incident comes after the Lebanese army claimed an Israeli drone violated its airspace and dropped incendiary material and sparked a fire in a pine forest near the border.
Lebanese state news agency NNA said Israeli forces fired flare bombs on Saturday.
A statement by the Israeli army only said the fires near the border “originate with operations by our forces in the area”.
Tensions flared up last week after Hezbollah claimed adrone attack on one of its compound was carried out by Israel.
At the time, the Iran-backed movement said one drone had landed on the roof of a building housing Hezbollah’s media office, while a second drone exploded midair.
Following that attack,Hassan Nasrallahsaid in a televised speech on Saturday, adding that Israel “must pay a price. “
Shortly before Nasrallah’s speech, Israel army announced that it had ordered extra forces to deploy to the “northern command” along the border with Lebanon.
Israeli media has since reported that the drones were targeting hardware for mixing the propellant used in precision-guided missiles.
Hezbollah and Lebanese officials have not responded to those reports.
On Wednesday, the Lebanese army claimed it had fired upon Israeli drones violating its airspace, forcing the aircraft to return across the border.
Hezbollah also held Israel responsible for an air strike in Syria, which killed two members of the armed group.