Ban Condemns Katyusha Fire, Urges Restraint
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned on Tuesday the firing of the Katyusha missiles into Israel from southern Lebanon overnight Monday.
In a statement he released, Ban urged maximum restraint by all parties.
“There were no reports of casualties on either side and the situation is now calm,” Ban said, adding that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is investigating the circumstances of the incident in cooperation with Lebanese and Israeli forces.
“The Secretary-General urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint,” he added.
At least four Katyusha missiles were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel overnight Monday, exploding in two communities near the border but not causing any physical injuries. Damage was caused to a chicken coop in one of the communities.
The IDF returned fire at the location from which the attacks originated.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Lebanese army admitted to one rocket attack on Israel, but said it does not know who fired it. The Hizbullah terror group has not commented.
UNIFIL said the firing occurred from the general area of Rumaysh in southern Lebanon and said in a statement, “This is a serious incident in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area.”
Resolution 1701 ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah, and calls for respect for the so-called Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon, the disarming of all militias in Lebanon, and an end to arms smuggling in the area.
“It is imperative to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this attack and we will spare no efforts to this end working in cooperation with the LAF [Lebanese Armed Forces],” UNIFIL’s statement said. “Additional troops have been deployed on the ground and patrols have been intensified across our area of operations to prevent any further incidents.”
The Al-Qaeda affiliated Abdullah Azzam Shaheed Brigades in Lebanon has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying, “The missile unit of the mujahedeen of the Battalions of Abdullah Azzam bombed the enemy’s colonies in northern Palestine from southern Lebanon and the missiles struck their targets. The victory is from Allah.”
The group has been involved in the past in firing Katyusha rockets at northern Israel from Lebanon, and from Sinai at Eilat and Aqaba.