Yesterday, after receiving reports of rockets fired from Lebanese territory towards Israel, UNIFIL launched an investigation into the incident in close cooperation with the parties.
UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) intensively patrolled and searched the area from where the rockets had originated. During the joint search operation, a rocket launching site was found close to a school in the general area of Rachaya el-Foukhar/El Hebbariye.
Hidden amidst trees, the joint search party discovered three rockets equipped with timers ready to be fired. The rocket launch pad was wired with explosive device. The rockets were deactivated in time on the ground.
In the same area, the investigation team found evidence of two rockets that had been fired in the direction of Israel. A second UNIFIL investigation team discovered fragments of two rockets in the area of Ain Arab (between Ghajar and Khiam) on Lebanese territory.
The initial report by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) that rockets impacted inside Israel has not been confirmed by IDF to UNIFIL.
Following the rockets launch in the direction of Israel, IDF counter-artillery batteries fired two rounds of four artillery shells each at two locations in UNIFIL's Area of Operations. UNIFIL radars detected the incoming artillery shells, which landed near Rachaya el-Foukhar around 08:57 hours and south-east of Khiam at 09:17 hours.
UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Claudio Graziano is in contact with the Command of the LAF and the IDF. He has stressed the importance of UNIFIL being able to complete the investigation to ascertain as soon as possible all the facts relating to this very serious incident. UNIFIL will submit the result of the investigation to the UN Security Council through the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York as well as communicate the same to both parties.
In the meantime, the Force Commander has urged maximum restraint and is working with both parties to maintain the cessation of hostilities.
UNIFIL and LAF are continuing intensive patrolling and search throughout the area.
For further information, please contact the following at the UNIFIL Public Information Office:
Spokesperson Yasmina Bouziane
Tel.: +961 1 827 037 (office); +961 7092 6950 (cell)
Fax: +961 1 827 016
View the UNIFIL website: