Rocket/Mortar

13
May
20:24 UTC

Israel & Lebanon Alert (UPDATE): Three rockets fired towards Israel’s Shlomi from southern Lebanon on May 13; isolated incident, not indicative of escalation on Israel’s northern border

Please be advised:

  • The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated that the three rockets launched from Lebanon towards Israel’s Shlomi landed in the sea, and therefore did not trigger Color Red sirens. 
  • Lebanese reports, citing military intelligence officials, indicated that Lebanese security forces detained a Palestinian national who was involved in the shooting. The report indicated that he belonged to a Palestinian militant faction. 
  • The rockets were reportedly launched from the area of Qlaileh village, located nine km southeast of Tyre.
  • Hezbollah reportedly denied that it conducted the attack.

Assessments & Forecast:

  1. The incident is notable given the rarity of rockets being launched from Lebanon towards Israel, although not unprecedented. The reported identity of the perpetrator, namely a member of a Palestinian militant faction, indicates that the motive for the incident is the ongoing hostilities between Israel and the Gaza-based militant factions. The arrest by Lebanese authorities of one assailant suggests that Lebanese authorities seek to contain any potential hostilities. This is because Lebanon is experiencing a severe economic and political crisis and will seek to avoid any Israeli retaliation. The turmoil in Lebanon also strengthens the assessment that Hezbollah is likely not behind the rocket launch, as it is not in the group’s interests to engage in hostilities with Israel at the current juncture. This is also evidenced by the group’s reported denial of responsibility for the attack. 
  2. Given how entrenched the group is in southern Lebanon, it is however possible that Hezbollah allowed the shooting as a token of support for the Palestinian faction. Regardless, the incident is an isolated incident that is not indicative of the opening of a second front amid the hostilities between Israel and Gaza-based militants. FORECAST: Thus, while further instances of rocket attacks from Lebanon into Israel cannot be entirely ruled out, they will likely continue to be extremely rare. Israel is likely to refrain from conducting significant retaliatory action against targets within Lebanon, as this would require the allocation of resources away from its ongoing operation in the Gaza Strip. However, a symbolic demonstration of Israel’s intolerance of all attacks emanating from Lebanese soil may manifest over the coming hours in a small-scale strike against Palestinian militant bases within southern Lebanon. A further escalation is unlikely. 

Recommendations:

Recommendations: Israel

  1. As a general rule, avoid the immediate vicinity of Israel’s Syrian, Lebanese, and Egyptian borders, due to the persistent risk for cross-border violence.
  2. Adhere to all Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Home Front Command guidelines regarding early warning sirens for incoming projectiles. In case you hear a siren, seek shelter in a protected area and remain inside for at least 10 minutes.

Recommendations: Lebanon

  1. Travel to Beirut can continue while avoiding nonessential travel to the interiors of the capital’s southern suburbs, including Dahiyeh neighborhood, given the potential for militant attacks, spontaneous Hezbollah checkpoints, and civil unrest.
  2. Avoid all travel to the vicinity of the southern border with Israel against the backdrop of the potential that Israel will conduct retaliatory actions over the coming hours.
COUNTRY RISK LEVEL Medium
AFFECTED AREA Shlomi; Israel
INCIDENT RISK LEVEL Medium
STRENGTH OF SOURCE Credible

Please be advised:

  • The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated that the three rockets launched from Lebanon towards Israel’s Shlomi landed in the sea, and therefore did not trigger Color Red sirens. 
  • Lebanese reports, citing military intelligence officials, indicated that Lebanese security forces detained a Palestinian national who was involved in the shooting. The report indicated that he belonged to a Palestinian militant faction. 
  • The rockets were reportedly launched from the area of Qlaileh village, located nine km southeast of Tyre.
  • Hezbollah reportedly denied that it conducted the attack.

Assessments & Forecast:

  1. The incident is notable given the rarity of rockets being launched from Lebanon towards Israel, although not unprecedented. The reported identity of the perpetrator, namely a member of a Palestinian militant faction, indicates that the motive for the incident is the ongoing hostilities between Israel and the Gaza-based militant factions. The arrest by Lebanese authorities of one assailant suggests that Lebanese authorities seek to contain any potential hostilities. This is because Lebanon is experiencing a severe economic and political crisis and will seek to avoid any Israeli retaliation. The turmoil in Lebanon also strengthens the assessment that Hezbollah is likely not behind the rocket launch, as it is not in the group’s interests to engage in hostilities with Israel at the current juncture. This is also evidenced by the group’s reported denial of responsibility for the attack. 
  2. Given how entrenched the group is in southern Lebanon, it is however possible that Hezbollah allowed the shooting as a token of support for the Palestinian faction. Regardless, the incident is an isolated incident that is not indicative of the opening of a second front amid the hostilities between Israel and Gaza-based militants. FORECAST: Thus, while further instances of rocket attacks from Lebanon into Israel cannot be entirely ruled out, they will likely continue to be extremely rare. Israel is likely to refrain from conducting significant retaliatory action against targets within Lebanon, as this would require the allocation of resources away from its ongoing operation in the Gaza Strip. However, a symbolic demonstration of Israel’s intolerance of all attacks emanating from Lebanese soil may manifest over the coming hours in a small-scale strike against Palestinian militant bases within southern Lebanon. A further escalation is unlikely. 

Recommendations:

Recommendations: Israel

  1. As a general rule, avoid the immediate vicinity of Israel’s Syrian, Lebanese, and Egyptian borders, due to the persistent risk for cross-border violence.
  2. Adhere to all Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Home Front Command guidelines regarding early warning sirens for incoming projectiles. In case you hear a siren, seek shelter in a protected area and remain inside for at least 10 minutes.

Recommendations: Lebanon

  1. Travel to Beirut can continue while avoiding nonessential travel to the interiors of the capital’s southern suburbs, including Dahiyeh neighborhood, given the potential for militant attacks, spontaneous Hezbollah checkpoints, and civil unrest.
  2. Avoid all travel to the vicinity of the southern border with Israel against the backdrop of the potential that Israel will conduct retaliatory actions over the coming hours.
COUNTRY RISK LEVEL Medium
AFFECTED AREA Shlomi; Israel
INCIDENT RISK LEVEL Medium
STRENGTH OF SOURCE Credible