Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged maximum restraint by all sides after a recent incident in which a rocket was fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel, prompting Israelis forces to return fire.
The rocket was fired at around 6:50 p.m. on Monday from Houla in southern Lebanon and struck the vicinity of the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona, according to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has launched an investigation into the incident in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) returned fire with artillery rounds towards the direction of where the rocket was launched. There were no reports of casualties on either side.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban condemned the firing, and urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint.
“All parties must fully adhere to Security Council resolution 1701 (2006) and respect the cessation of hostilities agreement,” the statement said, referring to the resolution which helped to end the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah three years ago.
Resolution 1701 calls for respect for the so-called Blue Line that separates Israeli and Lebanese sides, the disarming of militias and an end to arms smuggling, among other measures.
UNIFIL said that it has deployed additional troops and a reaction force in the area, in coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces.
UN and Lebanese forces are also in the process of investigating a number of similar incidents that have occurred in recent weeks.