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Rockets launched from Lebanon hit northern Israel for second time in a week

At least three rockets launched from Lebanon smashed into an open field in northern Israel this morning. The rockets landed near the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona, causing no casualties, according to UN observers.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

Israeli artillery responded by targeting the area where the rockets originated.

The incident marks the second time in a week that Israel's north has been rocketed from Lebanon. Last Thursday four rockets landed in and around the northern Israeli city of Nahariya, wounding two people.

Lebanon's Hezbollah militia denied responsibility for both rocket incidents. After today's attack, a United Nations peacekeeping patrol discovered three live rockets prepared for launch.

"The rockets have been deactivated on the spot," a UN statement said.

As anger has mounted over the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza, Hezbollah has organized several rallies and protests around Lebanon.  But despite fears of the group opening a second front on Israel's northern border, Hezbollah has limited its actions to voicing moral support for Hamas.  

400,000 Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon, and Hamas is just one of several groups represented here.  The Islamic group denied responsiblity for last week's rocket attack, and  suspicion fell on one of the smaller militant Palestinian groups that maintain bases in Lebanon's sparsely populated eastern mountains.

But Hezbollah and Israeli officials have been quick to step back from any talk of a new confrontation on Israel's northern border. The two fought a 34 day conflict in 2006 that left 165 Israelis and more than 1,000 Lebanese dead. The Lebanese government estimates 15,000 homes were destroyed. 

Hezbollah continues to rebuild many of the areas hardest hit during the conflict, with buildings still under construction in the group's stronghold in Beirut's southern suburbs, where 20,000 people lost their homes.