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Rockets hit northern Israel day after Israeli airstrike in Damascus

Dec. 20, 2015 7:13 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 21, 2015 12:07 P.M.)
A picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights shows an Israeli soldier monitoring the Syrian Druze village of Hader. (AFP/Jalaa Marey, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Sirens sounded Sunday before three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon landed in open areas in northern Israel, Israel’s army said.

The Israeli army said that forces searched the area following the attack and responded with "targeted artillery fire" into southern Lebanon.

No damage or injuries were reported in the rocket attack.

Sunday’s rocket attack comes one day after reports of an Israeli airstrike in Syria's capital of Damascus which reportedly killed top a Hezbollah official, Samir Kuntar, as well as several Syrian civilians, according to international media reports.

Lebanese security officials said to local media that the rockets launched into Israel on Sunday night were reportedly transported from Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and launched by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine movement in "symbolic retaliation" for Kuntar's death, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.

Kuntar, born in Lebanon to a Druze family, joined a militant group, Palestinian Liberation Front, at a young age and was detained in Israel for decades after involvement in an attack in 1979 that left four Israelis dead.

Kuntar and other prisoners were later released in a prisoner swap for two Israeli bodies held by Hezbollah, a controversial move among the Israeli populace at the time due to the reported brutality of Kuntar’s 1979 attack.

Kuntar joined Hezbollah following his release, and was believed to be recently involved in militant activity in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, where a significant number of Syrian Druze live.

Since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, the Golan has been tense, with a number of rockets and mortar rounds hitting the Israeli side, mostly stray, prompting occasional armed responses.

Israel has avoided large-scale involvement in the conflict in neighboring Syria, but opposes Bashar Assad’s regime and has reportedly carried out strikes on Iranian arms transfers to Hezbollah through Syria.
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