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Sunday, June 17, 2007

4 Katyusha's shot at Kiryat Shmona

Up to four Katyusha rockets were shot at Israel from Lebanon today. One landed in Lebanese territory while 2-3 others landed in Kiryat Shmona. No one was injured, but there was property damage.

Ehud K. Olmert is professing 'restraint' and the only reason that makes sense is that Hezbullah is denying involvement. Unlike the 'Palestinians,' Hezbullah does not usually deny its own attacks.

Lebanese sources believe the attack was carried out by a 'Palestinian splinter group' affiliated with Hamas.
The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) reported that the rockets were launched by a Palestinian group, while Lebanese television said that the rockets were fired from the Lebanese village of Taibeh.

The privately owned Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation LBC channel said the village of Taibeh overlooks Kiryat Shmona.

UNIFIL and LAF troops set up checkpoints throughout southern Lebanon in an attempt to capture the perpetarators of the attack, Channel 2 reported.
And the people of Kiryat Shmona are not happy about this - to say the least:
One Kiryat Shmona resident who witnessed the Katyusha strike described what she saw in an interview with Channel 2.

"I heard a huge boom, and saw a giant mushroom cloud," she said. "I can't believe we are going back to the same situation that we had one year ago."

The mayor of the town, Haim Barbivai, echoed this sentiment, and called for a tough response from both the Israeli and Lebanese government.

"Heaven help us if we have another summer like the last one. That would be a tragedy," he told Channel 2.

In late 2005 several Katyusha rockets were fired into Israel, but later were found to have been launched not by Hizbullah but by a Palestinian group affiliated with al-Qaida.
YNet adds:
At around 5:20 pm, residents of the northern town reported the sound of explosions. Rescue teams were dispatched to both locations where the rockets landed. It remains unclear who launched the rockets towards Israel.

One of the rockets hit a car in the town's northern industrial area, and the other landed in the southern part of town.

IDF officials said that the rockets were apparently launched from an area very close to UN outposts in southern Lebanon.


The Lebanese media reported that the rockets were launched from villages in the Marjayoun

District in south Lebanon. Hizbullah’s Al Manar television station briefly reported the attack based on Israeli news outlets; Hizbullah denied it was behind the attack.

Al Manar also said that the IDF was currently firing mortar shells at the Shebaa Farms area in southern Lebanon.

The Northern Command estimated that the rockets were launched by a Palestinian organization operating in southern Lebanon, but did not rule out the possibility that the rockets belonged to Hizbullah. However, other military source said the rockets were not launched by Hizbullah, but by Palestinian organizations.


They indicated that the “Fatah al-Islam” organization has said that its goal was to fight “the Zionists”.

Police sappers told Ynet the rockets launched were of a very primitive variety.

“During the Second Lebanon War, only a small number of these rockets were fired. Their range is short, so they were fired close to the fence,” police sources said.

Another source added, “From what we know of Hizbullah and its firing methods, it wasn’t Hizbullah. In the past, when there was tension in Gaza, we witnessed similar attacks from points near the fence, so it was probably a Palestinian organization that fired the rockets.”
I'm inclined to agree with YNet that this was Fatah-al-Islam, the same group that is fighting the Lebanese army in the 'refugee camps.' As to the poor aim and short-range rockets my guess is that it's because Fatah-al-Islam's real base is further north in the Tripoli and Ein el-Hilweh areas. For the record, Kiryat Shmona is on the northern tip of Israel between the Golan and the coast. You can see on the map above where Tripoli is and Ein el-Hilweh is near the Lebanese city of Sida, which is 45 kilometers south of Beirut.


At 10:23 PM, Blogger Leyla Benkirane said...

It could be IDF themsselves to be able to convince the UN to disarm hezbollah and Israel , they have done it before , when sharon was ready to travel to America , he would make sure someone in Hamas is targeted (to get the sympathy and the support even double )


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