Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A second from opening in the war? When do Syria and Iran join in directly?

Israel's northern forces on high alert after rocket attack on Kiryat Shemona

DEBKAfile Special Report

January 14, 2009, 6:31 PM (GMT+02:00)

Hizballah's Al Manar TV reports that Israel fired back after three rockets exploded in the Kiryat Shemone region of northern Israel. Additional Lebanese sources described Israeli helicopters hovering over southern Lebanon and an artillery response against the rocket sites.

Five Katyusha rockets were apparently fired early Wednesday, Jan. 14, from two places in S. Lebanon - 3 from Arqoub and two from Habariyeh near Hasbaya. The latter fell short and exploded inside the Lebanese border. Three more rockets primed for launching were later discovered by the Lebanese army and UNIFIL troops at Habariyeh rocket site. The Lebanese government condemned the rocket attack and the UNIFIL chief asked both sides to exercise restraint.

At 8:30 a.m., the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona heard four explosions and saw plumes of smoke rise over the Galilee Panhandle. They headed for bomb shelters and cancelled classes at school. Two women went into shock.

Last Thursday, Jan. 8, Nahariya on the Mediterranean coast came under rocket attack from Lebanon and a nursing home was destroyed. Israel responded with cross-border artillery fire to what was officially described as a one-off attack. Hizballah spokesmen warned then that further Israeli "provocations" would be met with reprisals. Israeli forces in the North are on high alert after responding to the latest attack.

DEBKAfiles military sources report that the second rocket attack from Lebanon in less than a week indicates that Hizballah is supplying its terrorist allies with rockets for a systematic assault on northern Israel to expand the Hamas-Israel confrontation in the Gaza Strip to the northern front.


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