WH expresses concern following escalation, calls for self-restraint
Amid security tensions on the Lebanese-Palestinian borders, the White House urges "all sides to avoid further escalation," something it turned a blind eye to following the storming of Al-Aqsa.
In light of the escalation along the Lebanon-Palestine borders, the White House rushed to express its concern, urging "all sides to avoid further escalation.”
“The President has been fully briefed, and Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides and others throughout the US government continue their regular dialogue with Israel on this and other matters of mutual concern,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson said, as quoted by The Times of Israel.
“As the State Department reiterated just yesterday, we stand firmly for the preservation of the historic status quo at holy sites" in Al-Quds, the spokesperson added.
The spokesperson also condemned "the launch of rockets at Israel."
"Using Lebanon as a launchpad for rocket attacks against Israel only puts the Lebanese people at risk and increases the potential for further instability in the country,” the spokesperson added.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the spokesperson reiterated the US commitment to "Israel’s" security, and recognized "Israel’s legitimate right to defend its people and territory against all forms of aggression.”
Earlier, State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel condemned the "launch of rockets from Lebanon and Gaza" and assured that "Israel" had the right to "defend itself".
The big picture
The Israeli occupation military said 34 rockets were launched on Thursday from southern Lebanon on occupied Al-Jalil.
The occupation said the Iron Dome air security system intercepted 25 of the projectiles, adding that at least five rockets landed in occupied Palestinian lands.
It claimed that the locations of the remaining four rockets are still unknown.
Israeli media reported that the rockets caused two minor injuries and some damage.
The Times of Israel highlighted that the attack "may mark the largest number of rockets fired from Lebanon" since the July 2006 war.
In the same context, Israeli media reported that Israeli occupation military chief of staff Herzi Halevi and the head of the Shin Bet Ronen Bar are holding a security assessment in "Tel Aviv" following the rocket fire.
The media mentioned that Halevi and Bar will later hold meetings with Israeli occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Security Minister Yoav Gallant.
On its part, the Israeli occupation Foreign Ministry confirmed that it is instructing Israeli missions around the world to inform the so-called "international community" that "Israel" will respond to today’s rocket barrage from Lebanon.
On the other hand, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told CNN that "we are at a very dangerous moment."
"What we see unfolding on the Lebanese border is obviously a consequence, a reaction to what we saw happening at Al-Aqsa [Mosque]," Safadi pointed out.
Earlier, Netanyahu's office confirmed that the high-level Israeli occupation security cabinet will convene tonight following rocket attacks from Lebanon.
According to The Times of Israel, the meeting will come after an assessment that Netanyahu is expected to hold with Israeli security officials.
It added that the cabinet has not met in nearly two months.
Israeli media reported that security estimates suggest that this is a Palestinian retaliation to the attacks and assaults on worshippers in Al-Aqsa, in occupied Al-Quds, and it could be in coordination with Hezbollah.
Reuters cited three security sources as saying that Palestinian factions, not Hezbollah, were behind the rocket attacks from Lebanon toward occupied Palestine.
This comes as Israeli occupation forces stormed and desecrated the Al-Aqsa mosque, protecting the Israeli settlers' incursions for the second consecutive day.
On Thursday morning, a group of settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, heavily protected by the occupation forces.
In parallel, the IOF launched airstrikes, allegedly targeting Resistance positions west of the Gaza Strip, while Israeli helicopters also targeted several positions in the center of the Strip.