November 22, 2012 / 8:55 AM / 5 years ago

Lebanon army dismantles rocket aimed at Israel

MARJAYOUN, Lebanon, Nov 22 (Reuters) - The Lebanese army disabled a rocket on Thursday which was primed to be fired into northern Israel and said two others were launched late on Wednesday but fell short of the border.

An army statement said the incidents all took place near the southern Lebanese town of Marjayoun, about five km (three miles) from Israel’s northern border.

On Monday the army dismantled two rockets aimed towards Israel, which fought an eight-day conflict with the Islamist Hamas movement ruling the Gaza Strip. The two sides agreed a ceasefire on Wednesday.

Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of the Shi‘ite movement Hezbollah, which fought a 34-day war with Israel six years ago, as well as several much smaller Palestinian militant groups. Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has not threatened military action against Israel over the Gaza conflict.

Security sources said one of the 107 millimetre rockets fired on Wednesday fell about 500 metres inside Lebanese territory and the other landed right on the border. There were no reports of casualties.

The Israeli-Lebanese border has been largely quiet in recent years, though rockets were fired over the border last November and December, with only one casualty reported.

In addition to tensions over the Gaza fighting, there have been concerns of a spillover of tension from the revolt in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad, and from a stiffening of Western sanctions against Iran, Hezbollah’s main backer.

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