Eight rockets were fired at northern Israel by terrorists in Lebanon at 7 am Monday morning, sending hundreds of people racing for cover and kicking off a day of ongoing attacks from across the border.
At least six rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system after Red Alert incoming rocket sirens were triggered in multiple communities along the northern border, including Avivim and around the Ma’alot-Tarshiha area in Upper Galilee.
The Amal Shiite movement, an ally of Hezbollah, claimed responsibility for the early morning rocket fire, which prompted Ma’alot-Tarshiha officials to announce the “cancellation of all educational activities… including Hanukkah camps and all informal education activities and all clubs.”
In addition, the municipality announced the opening of hotlines in several languages from the psychological-educational and welfare service, adding that it was also holding a “comprehensive discussion regarding the preparation and future feasibility of evacuation.”
Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon claimed responsibility for a second rocket attack on northern Israel at around 11 am, this one aimed at an IDF post on Mount Dov.
At around 3:30 pm once again Red Alert sirens were activated in northern Israel, this time in the community of Shtula, also along the border with Lebanon.
Six rockets were also fired from Lebanon towards northern Israel at around 5 pm, and another round of rocket fire was launched 5:40 pm. Red Alert rocket sirens were not triggered the first time since the projectiles were not headed towards populated areas, but at 5:40 pm the siren activated in the northern town of Shtula. A mortar shell was later located in an open area by security personnel.
Several hours later — at around 9 pm — Hezbollah again attacked northern Israel with anti-tank missile fire aimed at the town of Metula. No injuries were reported, but two houses sustained direct hits by the missiles and were significantly damaged.
In response to each of the above attacks that took place every few hours throughout the day, Israel Defense Forces retaliated with artillery fire aimed at the source of the launches.
“In response to launches from Lebanon toward communities in the western Galilee earlier today, IDF fighter jets struck a Hezbollah military site,” the IDF said in a statement about half an hour later.
“Over the past hours, a number of launches were also identified from Lebanon toward IDF posts in northern Israel. The IDF struck the sources of fire.”
In addition, the Israel Air Force attacked the village of southern Lebanese village of Rihan, a Hezbollah stronghold, at midday.
During the day on Sunday, IDF Chief of Staff LTC Herzi Halevi toured the 91st Galilee Division and conducted a situation assessment with brigade and battalion commanders in the sector. He also met with the members of the civilian emergency response unit at Kibbutz Malkiya.
“For the return to all the communities, both in the south and in the north, first we need to return to a different situation, and return to both safety and a sense of security,” Halevi said.
“There is a military way to do this, the beginning of which is also what you are doing here, to damage, to deter, to kill Hezbollah operatives, to demonstrate our superiority, and it can also come in the form of a strike and war, and it may be that over time this will also take other time periods and solutions, because we are focused on other things between the arenas.
“The State of Israel never said war is the first solution that we will try, but we understand that in the situation here, it needs to end with a very, very, clear change in the situation,” Halevi emphasized.
“And yes, something very difficult happened that tells us there are cases where it is right to use this tool, in its full force. We are using it in Gaza, I do not want to say in full force, but with significant force and significant achievements.”