Iran ‘must pay the price’ for attack says Gardiner
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Fighter jets from Israel struck the sites overnight on Wednesday. This came after three rockets were fired earlier that day – two landing in Israel and one falling short in Lebanon. On Wednesday, Israeli jets had also launched an attack amid simmering tensions with Iran, whose proxy groups control Lebanon.
Israel’s defence minister Benny Gantz told the country’s media afterwards: “This was an attack meant to send a message.
“Clearly we could do much more, and we hope we won’t arrive at that.”
He believes a Palestinian faction had launched the rockets.
Historically, small Palestinian factions in Lebanon have randomly fired on Israel.
Smoke rises from the towns of Ibl Al-Saqi and Kfar Hamam in southern Lebanon (Image: GETTY)
The attacks hit open areas in the north of Israel and although they triggered some brush fires along hilly areas, no further damage or casualties were reported.
Nobody has taken responsibility for the attack, which originated from an area of south Lebanon controlled by Hezbollah guerrillas.
Israel’s military said it hit back with several rounds of fire on Wednesday before launching the latest air strikes during the early hours of Thursday.
They said in a statement: “Military fighter jets struck the launch sites and infrastructure used for terror in Lebanon from which the rockets were launched.”
Israeli fighter jets struck sites in southern Lebanon (Image: GETTY)
Fires burn in a site located in southern Lebanon following the attack from the Israeli military (Image: GETTY)
Israeli fighter jets carried out two raids just outside the Lebanese town of Mahmudiya, located 7.5 miles from the Israeli border, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV reported.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said the airstrikes from Israel were the first targeting its villages in 15 years and suggested an escalation in its “aggressive intent” towards his country.
He also took to Twitter to say the strikes were a direct threat to the security and stability of southern Lebanon and violated UN Security Council resolutions.
The latest rising tension follows last Thursday’s suspected drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman.
Israel’s defence minister Benny Gantz said ‘this was an attack meant to send a message’ (Image: GETTY)
Iran vs Israel – firepower compared (Image: EXPRESS)
Israel, Britain and the US all blamed the incident on Iran, which has denied any involvement. Two crew members – a Briton and Romanian – were killed.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK Government believed the drone attack on a ship in the Middle East was “deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran”.
He said: “The UK condemns the unlawful and callous attack committed on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman, which killed a British and a Romanian national.
“Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those killed in the incident.
“We believe this attack was deliberate, targeted, and a clear violation of international law by Iran.
“UK assessments have concluded that it is highly likely that Iran attacked the MV Mercer Street in international waters off Oman on July 29 using one or more unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
“Iran must end such attacks, and vessels must be allowed to navigate freely in accordance with international law.
“The UK is working with our international partners on a concerted response to this unacceptable attack.”