Lebanon blames Israel for firing rockets

Dec. 20, 2011 at 2:09 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn said Israel was behind rockets fired into the Jewish state, calling it an effort to undermine security in south Lebanon.

"The party that has launched mysterious rockets from the south is known," Ghosn told The (Beirut) Daily Star, referring to Israel and its agents. But he did not elaborate, the newspaper said.

"Lebanon's enemies, namely Israel, have no interest in the continuation of calm and stability in the south," Ghosn said.

Earlier this month, four Katyusha rockets were fired at Israel from Lebanon, and Israeli forces retaliated by bombing sites in southern Lebanon, territory controlled largely by Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, the Star said a French Foreign Ministry official arrived Monday night in Beirut to discuss the role of French troops serving with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon after a recent bomb attack on French peacekeeping forces.

France has accused Hezbollah and Syria in an attack on the French peacekeepers but both have denied the allegation.

Incidents in recent weeks have heightened fears of a military flare-up on the Lebanese-Israeli border.

A rocket launched from south Lebanon landed short of its target, seriously wounding a Lebanese woman Dec. 11, two days after a roadside bomb exploded on a UNIFIL patrol near the port city of Tyre wounded five of the French peacekeepers, the third attack on the force this year.

About two weeks earlier, rockets fired from south Lebanon landed in northern Israel, which retaliated by shelling a Lebanese village, but no casualties were reported in either incident.

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