- THE TIMES OF ISRAEL - EMANUEL FABIAN and AGENCIES - APRIL 6, 2023 -
Hezbollah had earlier stated support for Palestinians amid unrest at Al-Aqsa Mosque, but is said to deny involvement in assault, which comes as Israelis celebrate Passover
Thirty-four rockets were fired from southern Lebanon on Thursday afternoon, with 25 intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system over northern Israel, the military said. At least three people were injured and several buildings were damaged.
In the evening several mortar shells impacted near the northern town of Metula, not causing any injuries or damage.
Israel blamed Lebanon-based Hamas forces for the afternoon attacks, with Israeli official sources saying it would not have been carried out without Hezbollah’s consent. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is currently in Lebanon.
The Israel Defense Forces said five of the rockets landed inside Israel, and most of the rest were downed by Iron Dome. The impact sites of four others were not yet clear.
The barrage was the largest number of rockets fired from Lebanon since the 2006 war, during which thousands of rockets were launched at Israel. In August 2021, Hezbollah fired 19 rockets at northern Israel.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, and a Hezbollah source told the Al-Arabiya network that it was not behind the rocket fire, blaming Palestinian groups based in the area.
Lebanese security officials said the rockets had been fired from the area of a Palestinian refugee camp.
The IDF backed up that assessment, with spokesman Daniel Hagari telling reporters later Thursday that Hamas was behind the rocket fire.