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Hezbollah Launches 20 Rockets at Northern Israel, Which Responds With Artillery

Israeli soldiers stand next to an artillery unit on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon, August 6, 2021.
Israeli soldiers stand next to an artillery unit on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon, August 6, 2021.

The Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah fired some 20 rockets at northern Israel early Friday, sending Israeli residents in several towns into bomb shelters. The Israeli army said its Iron Dome system intercepted 10 rockets, and six of them landed in open areas. Israel retaliated with an artillery barrage.

Hezbollah said it was responding to a previous Israeli airstrike, but the move increases tensions along Israel’s northern border.

That’s the sound of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system shooting down 10 rockets that Hezbollah launched at northern Israel. Residents in several Israeli towns in the Golan Heights and northern Israel briefly entered bomb shelters. Six other rockets landed in open areas, and three fell short and landed in Lebanon. Israeli officials said there were no injuries.

In a statement, the Iran-backed Shi’ite militant group said it had fired what it said were dozens of rockets at open areas. It said the rocket fire was in response to recent Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon.

Those Israeli airstrikes were themselves in response to an earlier rocket attack from Lebanon, which Israeli officials said they believed was from Palestinian groups, not Hezbollah.

Israeli military experts say Hezbollah has tens of thousands of rockets, including long-range and precision rockets that can reach most of Israel and do extensive damage. Israel has stepped up its capabilities to stop the rockets, said Brigadier General Tzvika Haimovich, former commander of Israel air defense forces. But in a war, it is not possible to stop every missile, he said.

“There is no hermetic solution, there is no zero-sum game that not one of the rockets in a war or conflict time will hit the state of Israel, and the main goal of the IDF, and the Iron Dome and the Air Defense forces, as well, is to minimize that damage and to prevent any major crisis in Israel," Haimovich said.

At the same time, he said that neither Israel nor Hezbollah wants a war right now. Hezbollah is more concerned with the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, where inflation is out of control and there are shortages of everything from electricity to medicine.

Hezbollah controls much of south Lebanon and is a partner in the Lebanese government.