Monday, December 30, 2013

UNIFIL Press Statement on rocket fire, 29 December 2013

29 December 2013
This morning at around 7:35am UNIFIL radars detected firing of at least two rockets from the general area of El Khiam in southern Lebanon towards Israel. The IDF informed UNIFIL that two rockets fired from Lebanon had impacted in the vicinity of Kiryat Shimona in northern Israel.

The IDF returned artillery fire directed at the location from where the rockets had originated.

At this time, no casualties or damages have been reported from either side. There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket attack.

UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Paolo Serra was immediately in contact with counterparts in the LAF and IDF commands and has urged the parties to exercise maximum restraint in order to prevent any escalation of the situation.

Major-General Paolo Serra said: "This is a very serious incident in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area. UNIFIL's first imperative is to ensure that there is no further escalation of the situation and I have been assured by the parties of their full cooperation with UNIFIL in this effort and of their continued commitment to the cessation of hostilities."

He added: "Our troops on the ground are working with the Lebanese Armed Forces to reinforce security and locate the rocket launching site. UNIFIL has intensified its patrols across our area of operations to prevent any further incidents."

"It is of paramount importance to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this attack and we will spare no efforts to this end working in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces."