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Israel missiles hit environmental NGO in south Lebanon: Lebanese army

The Israeli military claimed its aircraft struck Hezbollah posts after shots were fired at its troops from Lebanon
Israeli soldiers gather next to self-propelled howitzers in Upper Galilee in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon on 26 August 2020 (AFP)

Israeli helicopters fired missiles at a centre belonging to a local environmental group in south Lebanon early on Wednesday, the Lebanese military said in a statement, in the latest security incident on the Lebanese-Israel borders.

Earlier, the Israeli military said that its aircraft struck posts belonging to the Lebanese group Hezbollah, claiming that shots had been fired from Lebanon towards its troops.

There was no immediate comment from Hezbollah, but the Lebanese military said that Israel had launched three missiles at the town of Ramiya and eight missiles on the outskirts of Aita al-Shaab village.

The statement said the strikes on Green Without Borders' centre in the Aitaroun nature reserve caused a fire.

The Lebanon's Supreme Defence Council denounced the Israeli assault and said a complaint would be filed to the United Nations.

The Israeli military said its forces had deployed illumination flares, smoke shells and live fire after the shots from the Lebanese side of the frontier, adding that no troops had been wounded.

The statement from Lebanon's defence council, which includes the president and top security officials, made no mention of any shots fired from the south towards Israel.

Translation: "That is how the Zionist enemy launched strikes on Lebanese territories between the towns of Hawla and Mais Al-Jabal," a journalist with Hezbollah's TV channel Al-Manar said on Twitter, posting footage of overnight air strikes by Israel.  

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the shooting later on Wednesday, saying that his government took the shooting “very seriously”.

“We will not tolerate any aggression against our citizens and will respond forcefully to any attack against us.

“I advise Hezbollah not to test Israel's crushing [military] force. Hezbollah is once again endangering Lebanon because of its aggression,” he said.

Tension had been running high on the border. Last month, Israel said that Hezbollah had carried out an infiltration attempt, which the Iran-backed group denied.

The Israeli military said it had lifted a curfew it had imposed overnight.