UNIFIL Updated Media line on the rocket firing of 29 Dec 2013
Following last morning’s rocket firing from southern Lebanon towards Israel, later yesterday the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) found four rocket firing sites with improvised launch mechanisms in the El Khraibe area east of El Khiam.
UNIFIL investigators, accompanied by LAF, inspected the launch sites, all four of which were located in close vicinity of each other.
UNIFIL also inspected one site near Sarda in southern Lebanon where one of the rockets had impacted after apparently falling short of its intended range, as well as an impact site for the Israeli artillery shelling indicated by the LAF close to the rocket launch area. UNIFIL’s air reconnaissance observed several other impacts of the IDF shelling scattered around the same general area. UNIFIL radars had detected a total of 32 artillery shells fired by the IDF shortly after the rockets were launched and directed at the area from where the rockets had been fired.
Yesterday, a UNIFIL investigation team visited northern Israel and inspected one rocket impact site near Kiryat Shmona.
Preliminary investigations indicate that the perpetrators had attempted to fire at least four rockets towards Israel, two of which impacted in northern Israel in the general area of Kiryat Shmona and a third fell within Lebanon near Sarda. Initial indications are that the fourth rocket exploded at the launch site.
UNIFIL investigations are ongoing in close coordination with the LAF to unravel all the facts and circumstances relating to this incident of grave violation of resolution 1701 and one that had a dangerous potential to escalate further.
UNIFIL is in regular contact with the parties who have reaffirmed their commitment to the cessation of hostilities and are working in cooperation with UNIFIL to maintain the calm that has since been restored along the Blue Line.
UNIFIL in close coordination with LAF has intensified its patrols across its area of operations to prevent any further incidents.
The situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations is calm.