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Israeli army fires into Lebanon

JERUSALEM, Jan 8 – The Israeli army fired into northern Lebanon on Thursday after rockets were fired at the Jewish state, an army spokeswoman told AFP.

"We carried out direct fire at the source of the rocket fire from Lebanon," she said.

The army fired five shells, a military source told AFP without clarifying the type of ordnance used.

Several rockets hit northern Israel from Lebanon early Thursday, lightly wounding two people, officials told AFP.

"Three rockets landed in Israel fired from Lebanon," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Two people were lightly wounded, he said, adding that police sappers and bomb disposal units were working on the scene.

The rockets fell around the area of the northern town of Nahariya, where residents were called to stay inside their homes, Israeli media reported.

The rockets fell a day after the chief of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a Shiite militia with which Israel fought a 34-day war in 2006, warned that "all possibilities" were open against Israel amid its deadly offensive in Gaza.

The last time rockets from Lebanon in northern Israel were fired on June 17, 2007 slamming into the northern town of Kiryat Shmona causing minor damage and no injuries.

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At the time, Hezbollah denied responsibility and Israel also said Hezbollah was not involved in the attack, blamed on an unnamed Palestinian organisation.

Following Thursday’s strike, a high ranking Lebanese security official confirmed to AFP that rockets have been fired from southern Lebanon into Israel.

A Hezbollah spokesman had "no immediate confirmation" on the subject.

The UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL, said it was investigating.

Hamas denied it was responsible.

"We cannot blame any Palestinian faction and we don’t know who fired the rockets," Hamas spokesman in Lebanon, Raafat Morra, told AFP.

"Hamas is pursuing its combat inside Palestine and our principle is not to use any other Arab soil to respond to the occupation. This is our firm policy," he said.

Residents of the southern Lebanese village Tayer Harfa near the Israeli border told AFP that they heard loud explosions in the morning.

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