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Israeli artillery shells southern Lebanon, drone drops incendiary devices along border

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo shows an Israeli shell after it slammed into the Jabal al-Rous area in the occupied Shebaa Farms and Kfarshouba Hills, southern Lebanon, on September 1, 2019. (Photo by Lebanon’s official National News Agency)

Israeli artillery units have struck the southern part of Lebanon shortly after an Israeli drone violated the Lebanese airspace, and dropped incendiary material that sparked a fire in a forest at the border.

Lebanon’s official National News Agency reported that Israeli forces launched several 155-millimeter shells on the Jabal al-Rous area in the occupied Shebaa Farms and Kfarshouba Hills on Sunday afternoon.

The report added that the Israeli forces opened fire from their posts in the al-Zaoura area in Syria’s occupied Golan Heights.

An Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle, meanwhile, dropped incendiary devices on a forest in the border area of Bastara.

The Lebanese army said in a statement that the drone entered Lebanese airspace at 11:15 a.m. local time (0815 GMT) on Sunday, and dropped an unspecified number of devices, causing fires in some areas.

It added that the army would continue to follow up on Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Images published by the private LBCI television network showed smoke rising from a tree-covered hill, reportedly caused by the weapons.

Tensions have been high recently between Israel and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah in connection with the Israeli attacks on August 25 in Syria and Lebanon. Hezbollah has pledged to retaliate.

Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Saturday evening that the resistance movement was determined to give a response to Israel over its recent drone incursion into Lebanon.

"The need for a response is decided," he said during a televised speech ahead of the Islamic lunar calendar month of Muharram – the 10th day of which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the third Shia Imam and Prophet Muhammad's grandson.

The Hezbollah chief added that the response was about “establishing the rules of engagement and... the logic of protection for the country. Israel must pay a price,” he said.

“Israel should know that the Lebanese air space is not open to her,” Nasrallah said, adding that the Israel attack could open the door to assassinations if left unanswered.

Nasrallah noted that the response to the Israeli attack could come from anywhere in Lebanon and not only from the Shebaa Farms south of the country, where Hezbollah normally stations most of its military equipment.

“The response will come from Lebanon. We will choose the place and time,” he said.

On August 26, Hezbollah said Israel had sent two drones into Lebanon on a bombing mission the previous weekend.

According to the resistance movement, the first drone had fallen on a building housing Hezbollah’s media office in the suburb of Dahieh. The second drone, which appeared to have been sent by Israel to search for the first one, had crashed in an empty plot nearby after being detonated in the air, it added.

Following the drone raids, Nasrallah vowed in a televised speech that fighters of the resistance movement would counter any further violation of the Lebanese airspace by Israeli drones.

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