News Column

Israeli Jets Raid Palestinian Base in Lebanon

August 23, 2013

Israeli jets raided a Palestinian militant base fifteen kilometres south of Beirut early Friday, a Lebanese police source said, a day after rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel.

The source said the raid targeted a base of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), headed by Ahmed Jebril, in the area of Naamieh, south of the capital. The Damascus-based group has close links with Iran and Hezbollah.

Israeli media reported the Israeli air force as saying it successfully struck a target near Beirut.

A member of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an al-Qaeda-linked group, said the organization was behind the firing of rockets on Israel from southern Lebanon on Thursday, according to his twitter account.

Sirajeddin Zurayqat wrote: "The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, group of Ziad Jarrah Battalions, were responsible for firing four rockets from Lebanon towards Israel."

The same group claimed similar attacks on Israel from Lebanon in 2009 and 2011. The Sunni extremist group was formed in 2004 and it was named after the late Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian from Jordan, who was the mentor of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The group was added to the US terror list in 2012.

An Israeli army statement said Israel held "decision makers in Lebanon" responsible for the rocket attack, the Jerusalem Post newspaper reported.

According to a PFLP-GC source in Beirut the airstrike caused no casualties or damage. Abu Imad Mustapha, a PFLP-GC official said the Israeli jets fired one rocket which fell at the outskirts of the base. He denied any link with the rocket firing.

"There are no Abdullah Azzam Brigades in our base," he said, adding that the movement would retaliate against the Israeli attack.

On Thursday, at least four rockets were fired from southern Lebanon toward Israel, causing no injuries. The Israeli military said the rockets were likely fired by Sunni Muslim radicals.

One rocket was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system between the northern Israeli towns of Akko and Nahariya, an Israeli army spokesman said. Two rockets fell in Lebanese territory.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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