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Rockets fired from Lebanon into north Israel: security sources

The Israeli military and Lebanese security officials say three rockets fired from Lebanon have landed in Israel.

The Israeli army said had fired artillery shells into southern Lebanon in response to rocket fire.

Lebanon’s media outlet, Al-Manar reports, “Israeli warplanes struck the building with four long-range missiles, causing complete destruction of the building and partial damage to the surrounding structures”. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about Hezbollah’s operations, which are kept largely secret.

Hezbollah blames the strike on Israel. Samir Kuntar of Hezbollah was infamous for one of the most brutal terrorist attacks in Israel’s history.

Israeli army yesterday cancelled patrols along the Golan Heights and Lebanese borders, Israeli news website Wallah reported.

Israel and Russia have set up a communications channel to make sure their air forces do not clash with each other, though it was not known whether the alleged Israeli strike on Kantar had been announced to the Russians ahead of time. He noted, however, that Kantar was not a member of Hezbollah’s “inner circle”, reducing the probability that the group would open a new front against Israel. Hizbullah activities among the Druze are led by Samir Kuntar, who succeeded in recruiting and uniting Druze activists, some residents of Majdal Shams (in the Israeli-controlled Golan), to carry out military acts against Israel.

Earlier in the day at Kantar’s funeral, senior Hezbollah official Hashem Safeieddine also said the group would seek revenge.

Amidror also explained that Kuntar’s ethnicity made him uniquely qualified to help Hezbollah recruit fellow Druze.

Mr Shay, a scholar at the Institute for Policy and Strategy Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, said that if Israel killed Kantar “the dominant consideration would have been the role he would play in the future and not what he did in the past”.

Israel was on alert last night (Sunday) after it was attacked by a salvo of rockets in apparent retaliation for the killing of a senior Hizbollah figure in Syria.

At tightly guarded facilities in south Lebanon, men as young as 17 undergo training by the Shiite guerrilla group Hezbollah on weapons and anti-insurgent tactics before being sent to Syria to fight alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces.

“In his seven years of freedom, Samir was involved in the resistance (against Israel) in Lebanon and when the first signs of resistance appeared on the occupied Golan front, he was one of the first to join up and Israel tried six times to kill him in Lebanon and Syria”, his brother Bassam said in an article published in Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar.

Two years later, a deal brokered by a United Nations appointed German meditator saw Hezbollah returning the bodies of the captured soldiers in return for the release of Kuntar and four Hezbollah members captured during the war.

On Sunday, reports emerged of a targeted airstrike on a Damascus suburb which killed Kuntar and other Hezbollah field commanders. According to a source in the Defense Ministry, the additional development was decided on a year and a half ago and was given priority. Lebanese media said a small Palestinian group claimed responsibility.

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