Multiple Rockets Launched into Israel from Lebanon: Tensions Escalate in the Region
On April 6, 2023, a day after Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian militants at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, 34 rockets were launched from South Lebanon into Israel
Israel Defense Forces
Israel's highly efficient Iron Dome Air Defense System intercepted 25 of the projectiles, yet significant property damage occurred, particularly in the northern Israeli town of Shlomi. Three individuals suffered injuries from shrapnel.
This barrage marks the largest rocket attack from Lebanon since the 2006 war, when thousands of rockets targeted Israel. While no group has officially claimed responsibility, multiple sources point to either Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or Hezbollah as potential culprits. Israeli authorities suspect Hamas in Lebanon.
The types of rockets used and debris found at the scene may offer clues to the identity of the attackers. The rockets resemble those employed by Hezbollah, Iran, and their Lebanese affiliates, as well as those previously spotted in Iraq. Occasionally, Palestinian terror groups like the Lions' Den in Nablus have used similar weaponry.
Photos taken in Shlomi reveal that the attackers used Russian-made 122 mm 9M22U type artillery rockets. Iranian-made Arash-1 (Standard) and Arash-4 (Long Range) rockets are also common in the region, particularly among groups supported by Hezbollah and Iran. The Arash-1 has a range of about 22 km, while the Arash-4 can reach 40 km.
The Lebanese Army discovered launch rails and unexploded 122mm rockets a few hours after the attack. Although they released photos of the systems on April 8, the locations of the finds were not disclosed. It is likely that the Iranian Arash-1 and Arash-4 rockets were found in the Lebanese towns of Zibqin and Qalila, both near the Lebanese border and about 20 km from Shlomi—within the range of both Arash missile types.
On April 7, the Lebanese Army located a 12-tube multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) in Marjayoun. Other photos depict various MLRS systems loaded with six rockets, which appear to be either the 107mm Iranian-made Fadjr-1 or the Chinese-made Type 63-2. Interestingly, the Iranian Fadjir rocket is a clone of the Chinese weapon. However, given the Fadjir-1's limited range of 10-11 km, it is unlikely to have been used in the attack on Shlomi.
Determining the specific group behind rocket attacks into Israel is challenging due to the diverse range of ordnance found in Southern Lebanon. Iran's long-standing presence in the region and its Hezbollah proxy suggest that Iran may be a weapons supplier and active participant. Despite their differences, Hezbollah and Hamas both harbor animosity towards Israel, often uniting against a common enemy.