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

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    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.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora