JERUSALEM, Dec 28 (Reuters): Israeli warplanes attacked a Palestinian guerrilla group's training base in Lebanon early Wednesday, the army said, after a rocket strike on an Israeli town raised border tension to its highest level in years.
"The message is to the government of Lebanon who is responsible for preventing terror attacks from its territory," Israel's northern commander Major-General Udi Adam told Reuters.
There were no immediate reports of casualties in the Israeli strike on what the army said was a base belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command in Lebanon, a Syrian-backed group opposed to peace talks with Israel.
"The State of Israel holds the Lebanese government responsible for these attacks, in that it has done nothing to dismantle the terror organisations operating from within Lebanon, in violation of U.N. decisions 425 and 1559," the army said in an official statement.
Adam blamed Palestinian guerrillas for attempting to escalate tension along the Israel-Lebanon border by slamming at least three Katyusha rockets into the northern town of Kiryat Shemona shortly before midnight Tuesday.
It was the first rocket attack in years against the town-which was a regular target of Katyusha rocket strikes until Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000 after a 22-year occupation.
The Katyusha rockets scored a direct hit on three homes, wounding three people and sending others into shock.
"I thought the gas canister blew up because I didn't think that at this time of the day there would be Katyushas in the house," David Goldstein, whose house was badly damaged in the attack, told Israel Radio.
Residents of Kiryat Shemona were ordered to enter bomb shelters following the Katyusha strike. Explosions were heard overnight near the northern village of Shlomi indicating additional Katyusha strikes, Israeli media reported.