Rockets fired from Lebanon land off Israeli coast

Three rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Israel Thursday, raising fears that violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip could spill over into other parts of the region.

The Israeli military announced that the rockets landed into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of northern Israel. No casualties were immediately reported from the strike.

The attack raises the risks of the violence expanding to two fronts as violence between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip shows no signs of abating in the near future.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the latest attack, and Lebanese officials familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that it was unclear which group launched the rockets or precisely where they landed.

South Lebanon is the power base of the Shiite organization Hezbollah and other armed groups that have clashed with the Israeli military in the past, including during a brutal war in 2006.

The launches from Lebanon come as the Israeli military builds up its presence along the border with the Gaza Strip, with Israel not ruling out a ground offensive into the enclave to stop the rocket attacks.

An incursion would be the first since 2014, when dozens of Israeli troops and thousands of Palestinians were killed during the most recent war between Israel and Hamas, the armed group that controls the Gaza Strip.

Israel has launched a string of punishing air strikes on Gaza after Hamas and other groups fired a barrage of rockets across Israel. In a sign of the escalating violence, Hamas made the rare move of targeting Jerusalem and sending a flood of rockets to Tel Aviv, Israel’s major metropolitan area.

The violence was sparked after a now-suspended case in Israel over whether Jewish settlers could evict Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Clashes between residents and police escalated when Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the waning days of the holy month of Ramadan.

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