--Lebanon Condemns, U.S. Concerned, U.N. for Restraint
--No Injuries Reported; Israel Says Holds Lebanon Responsible
A rocket fired from Lebanon landed inside northern Israel on Tuesday causing no damage or injury, and Israel responded with artillery fire at Lebanon, the Israeli military and Lebanese security sources said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said Israel was treating the shooting along the normally quiet though tense border "very seriously" and that it held the Lebanese government responsible. Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Fuad Siniora condemned the incident, saying that it harms Lebanon's interests, and accused Israel of breaching U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701. The Lebanese government will not allow the use of its territory as a mailbox for exchanging messages, Siniora said, according to the media Wednesday. The government will investigate the incident and take measures to prevent its recurrence, he added.
There were no reports of casualties from the rocket that security sources said slammed into an open area near the northern Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona, or from Israel's subsequent artillery fire at Lebanon. A Lebanese security source confirmed a rocket had been fired from southern Lebanon from the village of Houla, and another Lebanese security source said Israel fired at least eight artillery shells afterwards toward that area. The rocket was fired from an area near where the United Nations has investigated Lebanese charges that Israel planted spy devices then subsequently exploded them last week. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the shooting.
Both Israel and Lebanon accuse each other of violating the U.N.-brokered ceasefire from 2006 that ended a month-long war between Israel and the Hizbullah guerrilla group. Lebanon says that if confirmed, the listening devices it says Israel planted and blew up would be a violation of that truce, in addition to the overflights of unmanned drone surveillance aircraft over southern Lebanon. Israel has complained about two recent blasts involving weapons storage depots in southern Lebanon, and two rockets fired from Lebanon at northern Israel last month. A militant group claiming links to al-Qaeda said it was responsible for the rocket attack.
The Beirut daily AN NAHAR quoted an unnamed U.S. official as condemning what he called "provocative attacks" on Israel and warned if such attacks continue they might spark another war between Lebanon and Israel. U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larnsen has briefed the Security Council on the current situation in south Lebanon and the progress made in implementing U.N. Resolution 1559, which called for the disarmament of all militias on Lebanon. He noted that little has been done to curb the presence of illegal weapons held by Hizbullah and other Palestinian factions. (See more below).
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|Title Annotation:||Today's News Highlights|
|Publication:||The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)|
|Date:||Oct 28, 2009|