News / Middle East

Rockets Fired from Lebanon Hit Israel Ahead of Diplomatic Push

A Lebanese army personnel inspects the remains of a shell that was launched from Lebanon to Israel, which according to activists landed 500m from the Lebanese-Israeli border, in the southern Lebanese village of Sarada, Dec. 29, 2013.
A Lebanese army personnel inspects the remains of a shell that was launched from Lebanon to Israel, which according to activists landed 500m from the Lebanese-Israeli border, in the southern Lebanese village of Sarada, Dec. 29, 2013.
Robert Berger
There was a rare clash Sunday on the Israel-Lebanon border. The incident occurred ahead of a week of diplomacy on the Israel-Palestinian track.

Several rockets fired from Lebanon set off loud explosions in northern Israel but caused no injuries or damage. The army says Israel retaliated with "massive" artillery fire into Lebanon.

The border has been mostly quiet for years, but fighting from the Syrian civil war has spilled over into neighboring Lebanon, and the clash raised fears that tensions could spread to Israel.

At the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will not allow cross-border attacks to pass quietly, and the government and army of Lebanon will be held responsible.

Netanyahu accused Lebanon of failing to “lift a finger” to prevent militant groups like Hezbollah from launching attacks on Israel from its territory.

  • United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) troops react at the site of a shell that was launched from Lebanon to Israel, Sarada, Lebanon, Dec. 29, 2013.
  • An Israeli security coordinator stands next to the remains of a rocket after it landed near the northern town of Kiryat Shmona, Israel, Dec. 29, 2013.
  • An Israeli police explosive expert carries the remains of a rocket after it landed near the northern town of Kiryat Shmona, Israel, Dec. 29, 2013. 
  • An Israeli soldier walks out of a military bunker on the Israel-Lebanon border near the northern town of Metula, Israel, Dec. 29, 2013. 
  • United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) troops inspect the remains of a shell that was launched from Lebanon to Israel, Sarada, Lebanon, Dec. 29, 2013.
  • A Lebanese army soldier holds the remains of a rocket, Sarada, Lebanon, Dec. 29, 2013.
  • Lebanese army personnel inspect the remains of a shell that was launched from Lebanon to Israel. According to activists, the shell landed about 500m from the Lebanese-Israeli border, Sarada, Lebanon, Dec. 29, 2013. 
  • An Israeli soldier looks at a U.N. helicopter flying over the Israel-Lebanon border near the northern town of Metula, Israel, Dec. 29, 2013. 

The clash came a day before Israel plans to free 26 long-term Palestinian prisoners in the third stage of a U.S.-brokered deal that restarted peace talks last summer after years of deadlock. Israel released 52 prisoners in the first and second stages, and with the 26 to be freed in the final stage, the total will be 104.  

Most of the detainees were involved in deadly attacks against Israelis more than 20 years ago.  

Although Palestinians are preparing a heroes’ welcome for the prisoners, the deal is unpopular in Israel. The families of terror victims have set up a protest tent outside the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem.  

Elchai Ben Ishai says his sister, her husband and three of their children were killed in a Palestinian terror attack in 2011.

“Their innocent blood is crying out from the ground,” he said.

To appease hawks in his own government, Prime Minister Netanyahu will announce a plan to build 1,400 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The Palestinians and international community say the settlements are an obstacle to peace. And Palestinian officials like Jibril Rajoub are furious.

“This is a provocation,” he said. He said the settlements could destroy the peace process and lead to another cycle of violence and bloodshed.    

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Jerusalem and the West Bank this week to try to keep the peace process on track.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael Miles from: Victoria BC
December 29, 2013 2:01 PM
Quite building settlements and you may have a chance for peace.
Israel keeps building so the war continues

by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
December 29, 2013 1:45 PM
Meanwhile, Israel has taken advantage of the much publicized massacres in Syria's sectarian civil war to steal Palestinian land and build thousands more Jewish homes on other occupied territory.
For example Israeli cabinet ministers proposed legislation on Sunday to annex The Jordan Valley area of the occupied West Bank likely to be the eastern border of a future Palestinian state, according to Reuters.
Also today, Saudi Arabia is to give Lebanon's army a grant of $3bn (£1.8bn, 2.8bn euros), Lebanese President Michel Sleiman said a televised address after the funeral of a senior Lebanese politician killed in a car bomb attack. Mohamad Chatah, a Sunni Muslim, was a staunch critic of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanon's Shia Hezbollah movement that backs him.
Nobody has taken claim for assassinating Mohamad Chatah, leading some to suspect it was an Israeli killing designed to increase Arab sectarian tensions throughout the MIddle East, and allow Israel to annex more Palestinian land without protest from the West or Sunni led Saudi Arabia and Qatar that are blamed for funding the blood sectarian war against Shi'ite Muslims.

by: Bankee from: UN
December 29, 2013 12:02 PM
well, now i expect the UN to condemn Israel...for something... really anything will do... the whole of the ME is self destroying - Israel is the only nation that builds - and we condemn Israel...!!! lol

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More