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Israel Escalates With Airstrikes After Rockets Fired From Lebanon

Israel launched airstrikes on targets in southern Lebanon overnight between Wednesday and Thursday in response to the launching of rockets Wednesday from Lebanon into northern Israel. The Israeli military said in a statement that its air force struck the site from which rockets had been launched the previous day, as well as an additional launch site that previously had been used to attack Israel. Prior to launching the airstrikes, the Israeli military responded to the rocket fire on Wednesday by firing dozens of artillery shells into Lebanon. No one has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s rocket attacks on Israel, and the statement from the Israel Defense Forces blamed the Lebanese government, given that it has the ultimate responsibility to exert sovereignty over its territory and make sure rogue militias aren’t dragging the country into war. But all eyes are on Hizbullah, the Shi’ite proxy force for Iran that has both the ideological motivation and the arsenal to strike at the Jewish state. US State Department spokesman Ned Price condemned the rocket fire from Lebanon, telling reporters that “Israel has the right to defend itself against such attacks.” Meanwhile, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col, commander of the UNIFIL peacekeeping force in the area, had urged both sides to “exercise maximum restraint to avoid further escalation.”