BEIRUT – Two rockets were fired from south Lebanon at Israel early Saturday, with one slamming into a mostly Christian Arab village and causing minor injuries to at least one Israeli, reported Israeli and Lebanese officials.
Lebanese security said the rockets were fired from the Mansouri and al-Qulaila areas near the coastal town of Naqoura, confirming that one rocket appeared to have landed in Israel.
An Israeli army spokesman said a woman was injured and the military responded to the rockets. He did not elaborate.
Israeli paramedics in Jerusalem said one rocket landed in northern Israel, causing minor injuries to three people who were evacuated to a hospital in the nearby coastal town of Nahariya. Israeli censorship rules do not allow media to report where, specifically, rockets fired from Lebanon land in Israel.
The rocket exploded in a mostly Christian, Arab village in the Galilee, leaving a large groove in the ground next to a house. Drops of what appeared to be dried blood were sprayed on the pavement and shrapnel smashed through a kitchen window, filling the sink with glass.
"I was sleeping when I heard something like a bomb," local resident Masad, who did not give his last name, told Associated Press Television News. "I got up and saw something unbelievable — a katyusha."
Around half of the residents of Israel's hilly Galilee area are Arabs, mostly ethnic Palestinians. During Israel's war with Lebanon in 2006, their villages were shelled by Lebanese guerillas, killing a number of them.
The Lebanese officials said Israel responded by firing at least six shells on villages in the vicinity of the area where the rockets had been launched. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.
Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora condemned both the rocket attack on Israel and the Israeli retaliation.
In a statement Saturday, Saniora said the rockets fired from south Lebanon "threatened security and stability" in the region and violated a U.N. resolution that ended the Israel-Hezbollah war in 2006. He also condemned the Israeli firing of shells on Lebanese territory, calling it "an unjustified violation of Lebanese sovereignty."
No one has claimed responsibility for the rocket firing.
The militant Hezbollah group has a large rocket arsenal but is not believed to have used them against Israel since their 2006 war. It has denied involvement in recent rocket attacks on Israel.
Rockets from Lebanon have been fired into Israel on two occasions during Israel's Gaza offensive last month. Palestinian militant groups are suspected of launching them.
However, two Palestinian officials denied Palestinian factions were responsible for the rocket attack on Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' mainstream Fatah group in Lebanon said their factions had nothing to do with the rocket attack.
The Syria-based radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — General Command also denied the group was responsible and urged Lebanese authorities to find those who carried out the attack.
The firing came a day after the Israeli president chose hard-line Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new Israeli government.