JERUSALEM – Israeli warplanes attacked a suspected Hezbollah (search) outpost in southern Lebanon on Sunday after the guerrilla group fired anti-aircraft shells at an army base in northern Israel, the army said.
Lebanese officials confirmed the strikes and said Israeli planes fired at least two missiles in the Jamous Hill area, several miles inside Lebanese territory, about 9:15 p.m.
There was no immediate word on casualties.
The army said it targeted and destroyed the Hezbollah outpost used to fire the shells, which caused no injuries. The Haaretz newspaper reported the shells were fired shortly after Israeli fighters flew over Lebanon (search).
Lebanon repeatedly has complained to the United Nations about Israeli reconnaissance flights, and Hezbollah has made it policy to retaliate for Israeli overflights by firing anti-aircraft shells at the planes. Some of the shells crash across the border in Israel.
The army accused Hezbollah of using the flights as an excuse to terrorize towns in northern Israel.
"The state of Israel is determined not to allow attacks from Lebanese territory and to hold the governments of Lebanon and Syria (search) responsible for these actions," the army said in a statement.
Syria is the key powerbroker in neighboring Lebanon.
The southern Lebanon region has been relatively quiet since Israel withdrew its forces in 2000 after an 18-year occupation.
However, tension on the border erupted into fighting earlier this month, with the two sides exchanging rocket and artillery fire and Israel staging its deepest airstrike into Lebanon in four years.
The military said the strike was retaliation for a rocket attack from south Lebanon on an Israeli naval vessel patrolling in Israeli territorial waters.
The air raid was on a base of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, blamed by Israel for attacking the boat, which was not damaged.