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For First Time Since 2006, Israel Carried Out Strike On Target In Lebanon

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Following a series of Israeli strikes on Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, the situation escalated in the Gaza Strip.

Three rockets were launched from Gaza towards southern Israel at around 9 PM local time on August 25th, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported. Two of the incoming projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

There were some injuries and no fatalities. One rocket exploded next to the Route 34 highway in southern Israel, sparking a fire, according to local authorities.

Shrapnel from an Iron Dome interceptor missile struck an empty building in the town of Sderot, causing damage, the municipality said in a statement.

There is a video showing the shrapnel hitting the building and causing some damage.

During a concert, a civilian video allegedly showed the two projectiles intercepted by the Iron Dome.

The barrage interrupted a large concert in Sderot, known as Sderot Live. There were no injuries and the event simply ended early.

“Israel Police officers are working to disperse participants of the event in a way that is orderly to prevent danger to human life,” police said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the launches, but Times of Israel reported that Palestinian media had reported Hamas was abandoning its positions in anticipation of an IDF response.

And, indeed, IDF Air Force carried out strikes on Hamas targets.

“Fighter planes attacked several terror targets in Hamas’ military compound in northern Gaza, including the office of a Hamas commander battalion,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.

“The strike was carried out in retaliation for the rockets launched from Gaza on Sunday evening. The Israel Defense Forces will continue acting against attempts to harm Israel’s citizens and views the Hamas terror organization responsible for everything that takes place in the Strip,” the statement read.

According to the Palestinians, the IDF hit targets belonging to Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. No casualties were reported.

A Hamas spokesperson further said that the group didn’t carry out the launches in the evening.

The Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories, IDF Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokon, announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also serving as Defense Minister, decided to cut oil imports intended for Gaza’s power station by a half in response to the rocket fire.

Possibly and likely part of the same escalation, on August 25th, IDF said that it had thwarted a drone attack by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force.

The IDF released a grainy video allegedly showing the Quds Force operative and the “killer drone.”

Later, it turned out that the operatives were, in fact, Lebanese Shiite militia operatives (only two and actually from Hezbollah).

In possible response, the IDF Air Force reportedly carried out a strike on a base belonging to a Palestinian “terrorist group” deep inside Lebanon.

The group in question is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC). It is different from the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine.

Allegedly the group is based in Syria and fights alongside the “Bashar al-Assad regime’s” forces. The base is located in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon, near the border with Syria.

Videos posted on social media showed explosions accompanied by heavy anti-aircraft fire.

A spokesman for the group told the Saudi-owned Al-Hadath news channel that the “Israeli bombing in the Bekaa did not achieve its objectives,” but gave no further details.

That’s essentially a rumour right now, since there has been no confirmation by the IDF. In past cases of strikes in the Bekaa Valley, it was to stop allegedly weapon shipments to Hezbollah from Iran, going through Syria.

According to Israeli media, rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel on both August 21st and 22nd, with the IDF blaming Islamic Jihad, which Tel Aviv claims is Iran-backed.

The IDF’s Arabic-language spokesperson Avichay Adraee tweeted urging Hamas to “control” Islamic Jihad and not cause a large-scale escalation.

“We do not plan to accept terror attacks and rocket fire against our citizens.”

Israel carried out raids on Hamas targets in Gaza in response back then.

Finally, on August 25th, Israeli Prime Minister (and Defense Minister) Benjamin Netanyahu was on a tour in the occupied Syrian territory of Golan Heights (which is still only acknowledged as Israeli territory by Israel itself and the US), warned neighboring countries against being aggressive towards Israel.

“We won’t tolerate attacks on Israel from any country in the area. Any country that allows its territory to be used for attacks against Israel will bear the consequences. I stress: The state will bear the consequences,” Netanyahu said.

Israel’s attacks in the past days, sparked a response from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Iran’s Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

“These insane operations will surely be the last steps of the Zionist regime,” tweeted Soleimani.

Nasrallah, on his part, threatened Israel with a reprisal attack after two of Hezbollah members were killed in an Israeli strike in Syria, and two UAVs crashed near the Hezbollah media office in Beirut (one UAV exploded, another one remained inact). The drones were allegedly Israeli and attempting to carry out an attack.

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