By Aaron Boxerman, Times of Israel—
Hezbollah deputy chief Naim Qassem told reporters on Friday that although Hezbollah did not believe it was heading towards an escalation with Israel, they were “prepared to respond” should Israel strike Lebanese territory again.
“Israel must understand that it must stay deterred. Otherwise, we are prepared to respond,” said Qassem, who serves as the Lebanese terror group’s second-in-command.
Tensions have escalated dramatically on Israel’s northern border over the past few days. On Wednesday, rockets fired from Lebanese territory landed in northern Israel, sparking fast-spreading blazes; Israel blamed Palestinian terror groups.
Israel conducted airstrikes that targeted open areas in southern Lebanon on Thursday morning, the first to be publicly acknowledged by Jerusalem since 2014.
On Friday, Hezbollah fired a barrage of nineteen 122mm rockets into northern Israel, sending residents in a number of towns in the Golan Heights and Galilee Panhandle scrambling to shelters. The terror group immediately took responsibility for the rocket fire, its heaviest barrage since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Israel responded with artillery strikes. Witnesses reported artillery fire by Israeli forces on the Lebanese side of Shebaa Farms and outside the town of Kfar Shouba after the attack.
Hezbollah also released a video of the assault showing a mobile rocket launcher maneuvering into position, raising the launcher and firing the salvo of rockets at Israel. Contine Reading….