Israel Prepares Forces 'On All Borders' Amid Lebanon Rocket Attacks, Unrest
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are readying for potential unrest on all of the country's borders amid a wave of violence spurred by the recent Israeli storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and a large barrage of rockets fired from across the Lebanese border.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, IDF spokesperson Richard Hecht said that about 34 rockets were launched earlier in the day from Lebanon into Israel, 25 of which were intercepted and six of which fell into Israeli territory. The barrage is one of the largest since the last war between the neighboring rivals fought 15 years ago, and Hecht called the new attack a "very serious event."
While Hecht said the IDF has not yet identified the perpetrator, he said the launch was believed to have been conducted by a Palestinian group, potentially tied to Hamas or Islamic Jihad, two movements present in the Gaza Strip, from which rockets have also been fired recently as Israel deals with one of its most serious year-long waves of violence in decades. This unrest was severely exacerbated Tuesday when Israeli security forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, in response to what they alleged to be worshippers armed with firecrackers, sticks and stones refusing to leave the compound. And while Hecht said that the "intensity is going down" in Jerusalem, he warned of the potential for further instability as attacks emerged from Gaza and Lebanon.
"We're looking at it very closely" Hecht said in response to Newsweek's question, "and we're preparing ourselves on all borders."
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