The Israeli military said dozens of rockets were fired at Israel from Lebanon on Thursday, in a major escalation that comes amid tensions over Israeli police raids on Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.
It was the largest such attack since the two countries’ 2006 war, which killed approximately 1,200 Lebanese and 165 Israelis.
Following the barrage, Israel closed its northern airspace. As of Thursday afternoon, no deaths had been reported, and it is unknown which group in Lebanon fired the rockets.
Social media videos showed rockets flying through the sky over northern Israel and the sound of explosions in the distance.
According to conflicting reports, Israel retaliated after the rocket launches. According to Lebanon’s national news agency (NNA), Israeli forces responded with artillery fire across the border into southern Lebanon, but a journalist covering the area for Hezbollah-backed Al-Manar news agency said Israel had not attacked any Lebanese territory.
The Lebanese Army told CNN that they still have no information to release, and the Hezbollah militant group said it would not comment at this time.
The incident occurred a day after Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, arrived in Beirut for meetings with Hezbollah officials.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that it was receiving “constant updates on the security situation and would conduct an assessment with the heads of the security apparatus.” Yoav Gallant, Israel’s Defense Minister, was also briefed on “recent developments.”
Attacks from Lebanon, leading to retaliatory strikes from Israel. Few casualties were reported in these incidents, with the largest death toll coming from a gun battle in 2015 that killed two Israeli soldiers and a Spanish peacekeeper. Palestinian factions in Lebanon are believed to be behind these rocket attacks.
The 2006 conflict was the largest flare-up between Lebanon and Israel since 1982. Some 1,200 Lebanese and 165 Israelis died in a shootout that included a nationwide Israeli airstrike and a sea and air blockade.