August 26, 2019 / 2:58 AM / 25 days ago

Israeli strikes hit Palestinian military position in Lebanon: group

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Israeli drone strikes hit a military position belonging to an Iranian-backed Palestinian faction in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley near the Syrian border early on Monday, the group said.

An official in the Palestinian faction said the strikes were an Israeli “provocation” only hours after Hezbollah’s leader warned his Iran-backed movement was preparing a response to an Israeli drone attack in Beirut on Sunday.

The head of Lebanon’s heavily armed Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah movement, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, also vowed in his Sunday speech to bring down any Israeli drones that come into Lebanon’s airspace.

The position hit in the early hours on Monday belongs to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command and did not cause injuries, a Lebanese security source and local media had said overnight.

An Israeli military spokeswoman told Reuters: “We do not comment on foreign reports”.

“This aggression is a continuation of what happened in Beirut and a provocative attempt that is a direct reaction to Nasarallah’s statements,” Khaled Jibril, the official in the Palestinian faction told al-Mayadeen TV.

The faction has a military presence in Syria where it has fought alongside Hezbollah and the Syrian army in support of President Bashar al Assad.

The Lebanese army was not immediately available for comment

Another official from the Palestinian position in the Lebanese town of Qusaya in the Bekaa said the strikes caused only material damage.

“MK (drones) targeted one of our sites with three small rockets,” official Abu Muhammad told Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper.

Before dawn on Sunday, two drones, which the Lebanese army and Hezbollah said were Israeli, crashed in the Hezbollah-dominated southern suburbs of Beirut.

Reporting by Alaa Swilam in Cairo and Reuters team in Beirut; Writing by Lisa Barrington; Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem and Suleiman al Khalidi in Beirut; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney

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