Israeli warplanes strike area near Beirut
By BASSEM MROUE, APBEIRUT — Israeli warplanes struck a target south of Beirut early Friday, a day after militants fired four rockets into northern Israel, the Israeli military and a Palestinian official said.
August 23, 2013, 2:07 pm TWN
The Israeli military said that the aircraft targeted "a terror site located between Beirut and Sidon in response" to the rocket attack. It was the first air raid on the area since the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group.
Ramez Mustafa, a Lebanon-based official with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, said the raid occurred at 4 a.m. and caused no casualties or material damage. He said the Israeli air force fired one missile at the area.
He said the warplanes struck the coastal town of Naameh, 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Beirut. The Palestinian group is active in the area and has a base there.
An Associated Press photographer in Naameh said the raid targeted a PFLP-GC base in a valley in the town. Lebanese troops in the area prevented journalists from reaching the base.
An Israeli army statement issued after the air raid said: "Yesterday's attack is a blatant breach of Israeli sovereignty that jeopardized Israeli civilian life. Israel will not tolerate terrorist aggression originating from Lebanese territory."
On Thursday, militants in Lebanon fired four rockets into Israel, setting off air raid sirens and startling a nation already on edge over turmoil along its northern and southern borders.
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said three rockets landed in northern Israel, while a fourth was intercepted by Israel's "Iron Dome" rocket defense system. No one was injured, and the military dismissed the attack as an "isolated incident."
Still, the rockets added to the nation's fears at a time it is nervously watching unrest in neighboring Syria, where the government has been accused of using chemical weapons against rebels and civilians this week. It's also worried about Egypt to the south, where Islamic militants have stepped up their activities near the Israeli border in the wake of a military coup.