Gabi Naaman, head of the Shlomi Local Council, warned on Tuesday that the Katyusha missile attack on northern Israel may be a warning sign that a new conflict is coming along the northern border.
No one was physically hurt as four Katyusha missiles fired from Lebanon at northern Israel exploded in the northern Galilee. Damage was caused to a chicken coop in one local community. The IDF retaliated and fired back at the location from which the missiles were launched.
Shlomi is a town located very close to the border with Lebanon and has been hit in the past by missiles. The four missiles fired overnight Monday landed very close to the town, and Naaman told Arutz Sheva that he hopes that there will be no need to activate the air raid sirens in the near future.
“Unfortunately, once in a while we get a reminder that we have enemies in the north,” he said. “For us this was a warning and all the heads of the local councils should be ready for further attacks, though we obviously hope such attacks won’t happen.”
Naaman called on residents of Israel’s north to be prepared and vigilant.
“I’m telling everybody: do not be complacent,” he said. “You must be ready to enter the bomb shelters and protected spaces. We must be prepared. This is a turbulent region. We need to continue with our routines and yet still be prepared.”
Naaman noted that currently the sirens are not going off in real time but said he fully trusts the security forces to change that procedure if it becomes necessary.
“For now the IDF has made a decision not to activate the sirens that detect missile attacks,” he explained. “This has proven itself during periods of calm because there is no reason to have the entire Galilee panic over a single missile, and sometimes there are false alarms.”
In a separate interview earlier on Tuesday, former Kiryat Shmona mayor Prosper Azran told Arutz Sheva that the latest Katushya attack is just the beginning.
“The terrorist hand has always been quick on the trigger because our deterrent power is forgotten and amounts to nothing,” Azran said. "We residents of Kiryat Shmona have faced this for decades. I’m afraid I have to report Israel’s government regularly neglects the security of some citizens.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack on Tuesday, urging maximum restraint by all parties and calling them to respect UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah.
The Al-Qaeda affiliated Abdullah Azzam Shaheed Brigades in Lebanon has claimed responsibility for the attack.