Israeli town hit by rockets from Lebanon

The Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona came under rocket fire from Lebanese territory, and Israel responded by firing missiles at a Palestinian training base near Beirut, the Israel Defense Forces said. At least three rockets hit residential areas of Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel late yesterday, the military command said on its Web site. Three residents were treated for shock, the daily Haaretz said.

A fourth rocket landed in the town of Shlomi, the Israeli newspaper reported on its Web site, without saying whether the attack caused injuries or damage. In response, Israeli jets early today attacked a base of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command near Beirut, the Israel Defense Forces said in an e- mailed statement. The military said it was sending a message to armed groups in Lebanon to cease targeting Israeli territory.

The Lebanese government ``has done nothing to dismantle the terror organizations operating from within Lebanon,'' the military said. At least two PFLP-GC members were wounded in the attack on the base in Noueyma, south of the Lebanese capital, Agence France-Presse cited the pro-Syrian faction, headed by Ahmed Jibril, as saying.

The jets ``blew a hole in a concrete armored protection wall,'' PFLP-GC spokesman Anu Raja told AFP. Israel has in the past blamed the Lebanese Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group for organizing artillery and rocket attacks across the border.

Israel last month called on Lebanon to stop Hezbollah attacks after a day of violence along the border in which four Hezbollah fighters were killed and 11 Israeli soldiers wounded. A Hezbollah spokesman in Beirut yesterday denied any knowledge of the attack on Kiryat Shmona, Haaretz reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

The Israeli military last week raised its security level along the border after receiving warnings that Hezbollah may carry out new attacks in the area, Haaretz said. Hezbollah is branded a terrorist organization by the U.S.

The Israeli air force also struck 10 roads in the northern Gaza Strip in a continuing operation to stop Palestinian attacks on Israel by Qassam rockets, ``to prevent the passage of terrorists to projectile rocket launching grounds,'' the Israeli military said in another e-mailed statement, reports Bloomberg. I.L.

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