The Gaza Strip-based Hamas terrorist group fired 34 rockets from Southern Lebanon towards northern Israel on Thursday in the biggest attack emanating from the Hezbollah-controlled country since the 2006 war.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, at least five of the projectiles struck within Israel. Another 25 were intercepted by the Iron Dome air-defense system; the remaining four are still being investigated.
Two Israelis in the Western Galilee city of Nahariya were lightly wounded by shrapnel from the rockets, which also damaged several locations.
After the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a meeting of the Security Cabinet to discuss possible responses.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) head Ronen Bar held an assessment with top brass at military headquarters in Tel Aviv. Both men were slated to meet with Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in the evening.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen called on world leaders to condemn the attacks, which followed a barrage of rockets fired from Hamas-ruled Gaza on Tuesday and overnight Wednesday.
“First day of Passover. As we sit at the holiday table, family and friends, Israel is facing rockets from south and north. This is not a coincidence. No one should test us, we will take all necessary measures to defend our country and people,” said the top Israeli diplomat.
“I call on the international community to issue a clear statement against those responsible for the attacks on Israel,” he added.
Shortly thereafter, the United States reiterated its commitment to upholding Israel’s security and backed Jerusalem’s right to respond.
“We condemn the launch of rockets from Lebanon and Gaza,” said State Department spokesman Vedant Patel. “Our commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad. We recognize Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against all forms of aggression.”
On Tuesday, terrorists in Gaza fired 16 rockets at the Jewish state, setting off sirens in communities along the border. The following night, seven surface-to-air rockets were launched at Israel, with all of them exploding mid-air, according to the IDF.
The military added that two of the rockets were moving in the direction of the Mediterranean Sea and the rest towards Israel.
The launches came as Palestinians rioted at Al-Aqsa mosque atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The Foreign Ministry sent a letter on Thursday to missions across the globe instructing diplomats to advise the international community that Israel would respond to the attacks from Lebanon.