Israeli Army Denies Firing on Southern Lebanon
The Israeli army fired three shells at southern Lebanon early Saturday from the disputed Shebaa farms area for the second time this month, Lebanese police said.
But an Israeli military spokesman denied the report, saying, "The Israeli army did not fire on southern Lebanon. There has been no shooting at all in this sector."
Police said the shells were fired from an observation post on the western side of Mount Hermon and exploded in an uninhabited mountainous region two kilometers (1.3 miles) from the Lebanese border.
They were accompanied by bursts of heavy machine gun fire and flares, the police said.
Regarding December 18, when police said three shells were also fired into the same area, nothing was reported that could have sparked the Israeli shooting.
Israel has warned Lebanon and Syria of firm retaliation if the Shiite Lebanese militia Hizbollah led one more attack on its troops in the Shebaa farms, an area Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and on which Beirut recently laid claim.
Since the May 24 withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation, Hizbollah has been leading military operations against Israeli troops in Shebaa farms.
On November 26, an Israeli soldier died in a bomb attack led by the Shiite militia, and six weeks earlier, three were captured in the Shebaa farms -- SHEBAA, Lebanon (AFP)
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