Lebanese security forces on Friday arrested a man named Abu Qais who is suspected of being involved in the firing of a rocket from across the Lebanon border into Israel, amid airstrikes conducted by the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF, against Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip.
Officials reportedly said that Qais’ car contained blood stains that matched the stains found at the location from where the rocket was fired, about a mile from the border between the two countries, The Daily Star, a Beirut-based newspaper, reported citing officials. Lebanese officials said that its army intelligence and U.N. peacekeeping forces had found signs of six rockets stored near the border by unknown militants.
Two rockets were fired into Israel early Friday, but only one hit open land inside Israel but did not result in any casualties. Israeli forces reportedly reacted to the rocket by firing more than 25 artillery shells into southern Lebanon, again without hurting anyone. The U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon is also expected to release a statement on the attack between Israel and Lebanon later Friday, the Daily Star reported.
The IDF, which is conducting its Operation Protective Edge against Hamas and has been contemplating a ground strike in the region on Friday, said that it is unsure whether the attack from Lebanon was “symbolic or something more substantial," USA Today reported.
The border between Lebanon and Israel has reportedly stayed peaceful since a U.N. mandated truce after the 2006 Lebanon war, which killed nearly 1,500 Lebanese civilians and displaced scores of people.
The firing into Israel and the country's reaction follows a series of three-day air-strikes being conducted on different parts of the region, mainly aimed at Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. While Palestine’s Health Ministry has said that the death toll caused by the Israeli airstrikes has crossed 100 and wounded 675 civilians, the BBC said that the IDF is yet to report a single civilian casualty.