U.N. Forces Plead for Calm as Israel Strikes Continue on Lebanon After Rocket Attacks
The United Nations peacekeeping force tasked with controlling conflict between Israel and Lebanon is pleading for calm amid a new, persistent escalation along the tense border between the two nations. News of the unrest first emerged Wednesday amid reports of rocket fire from Lebanese territory across the disputed Blue Line boundary and into Israel. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that sirens sounded in the villages of 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 IDF said in a statement. “In response, IDF Artillery forces fired into Lebanese territory.” The IDF then sent reports that it had made two additional strikes, bringing the count to three attacks on Lebanon within the course of two hours. The strikes come roughly two weeks after a previous round of hostilities in which the IDF fired on Lebanon in response to rocket launches that occurred just hours after neighboring Syria accused Israel of conducting airstrikes there. Up to three rounds of rockets were fired from Lebanon, and two barrages from Syria, throughout 11 days of conflict in May between the Israeli military and Palestinian factions led by the Hamas movement in Gaza. Pro-Palestinian protesters also stormed the Blue Line, drawing IDF fire that resulted in at least one death. Israel remains in a technical state of war with Lebanon and Syria since the country’s 1948 establishment on territory also claimed by Palestinians, an event that sparked a regionwide conflict and two more pan-Arab wars with Israel. Israel has also fought two wars in Lebanon, mainly against the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, and today continues to conduct strikes against suspected Iran-linked targets amid a decade-long civil war in Syria.