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Israeli Air Strikes Target Palestinian Militants' Base in Lebanon

Israeli warplanes have struck a Palestinian militant base in southern Lebanon. Two Palestinian were reportedly injured in the raid. The air strike followed a rocket attack against two Israeli towns near the Lebanese border.

Israeli aircraft struck a base belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command, a small pro-Syrian Palestinian militant group based in Naameh, about eight kilometers south of Beirut.

The strike followed a series of rocket attacks Tuesday night against the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona and the nearby village of Shlomi. The area is a frequent target of rocket attacks from Lebanese territory.

A spokesman for the Palestinian group targeted in Wednesday's strike denied his group's involvement in the rocket attacks. Most attacks against northern Israel are carried out by the Islamic militant group Hezbollah, but a Hezbollah spokesman also denied involvement in the latest rocket attacks.

Israeli Army spokeswoman Avital Lebovich says the air strike is a message to Lebanese authorities.

"We aim to send a message to the Lebanese government saying that any type of terror activity occurring from its soil should be taken as the Lebanese statehood responsibility," she explained. "Lebanon today has unfortunately become a hub for terrorist organizations. This is a situation we cannot live with."

The Israeli air strike was the deepest in Lebanon since 2004. Major Lebovich says Israeli defense officials are continuing to monitor the situation.

Wednesday's strike followed Israeli air and missile attacks against Palestinian militant targets in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in October, Palestinian militants have repeatedly launched rocket attacks against targets in southern Israel. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has appealed to militant groups to stop the attacks.

Israeli authorities say they will soon enforce a buffer zone in the northern Gaza Strip in a move to stop the attacks.