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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid