After Israel launched its
Both attacks came less than 24 hours after Israel launched a wave of airstrikes on Lebanon and Gaza early Friday after dozens of rockets struck the north of the country.
The exchanges, which came during the Jewish Passover holiday, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and in the run-up to the Christian holy day of Easter represent the most serious escalation between Israel and Lebanon since a 34-day war in 2006.
No group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, although Israel blamed Hamas, and said that it was investigating the involvement of Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist political party and militant group in Lebanon that also has links to Iran.
The Israeli military was quick to emphasize that airstrikes targeted only areas linked to Palestinian militants. In Lebanon, missiles struck an open field near the southern town of Qalili near a Palestinian refugee camp, according to the Associated Press.
The Palestinian Authority said that Israeli attacks in Gaza damaged a children’s hospital, in contravention of the Geneva Convention.
Israel said that it would hold Lebanon responsible for any “hostile fire” emerging from the territory, including that which it suspected came from non-governmental militant groups.
Lebanon’s foreign ministry said Friday said in a statement that the attack “constitutes a flagrant violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty,” and added that its permanent mission to the United Nations in New York would submit an official complaint over the bombing.
The escalation came after Israeli police raided al-Aqsa mosque twice earlier this week, as worshippers barricaded themselves into the mosque’s compound to pray during the holy month of Ramadan.
Police stormed the compound and fired stun guns at Palestinian youths who hurled firecrackers back early Wednesday morning. Inside the mosque, police beat worshippers — including women and children — using batons, chairs and rifles, people detained at the scene told the Associated Press. Fifty people were injured in the raid, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Al-Aqsa mosque sits on a hilltop sacred to both Jews and Muslims. The spot, known to Jews as Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism, revered as the location of biblical Jewish temples. It is also the third-holiest site in Islam. Conflicting claims over the area have frequently spilled out into violence before, most recently in an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in 2021 in which both sides claimed victory.
Israeli police did not comment on the beatings, but said security forces entered the compound in response to “masked suspects pelting rocks” toward officers stationed at the compound’s gates.
Associated Press and Reuters contributed.