Israeli warplanes attacked a suspected Hezbollah outpost in southern Lebanon on Sunday after the guerrilla group fired antiaircraft shells at a military base in northern Israel, the army said.
Lebanese officials confirmed the strikes and said Israeli planes fired at least two missiles in the Jamous Hill area, several miles inside Lebanese territory, at about 9:15 p.m.
There was no immediate word on casualties.
The army said it targeted and destroyed the Hezbollah outpost used to fire the shells, which caused no injuries. The Haaretz newspaper reported the shells were fired shortly after Israeli fighters flew over Lebanon.
Lebanon has repeatedly complained to the United Nations about Israeli reconnaissance flights, and Hezbollah has made it policy to retaliate for Israeli overflights by firing antiaircraft weapons at the planes. Some of the shells crash across the border in Israel.
The army accused Hezbollah of using the flights as an excuse to terrorize towns in northern Israel.
"The state of Israel is determined not to allow attacks from Lebanese territory and to hold the governments of Lebanon and Syria responsible for these actions," the army said in a statement. Syria is the key power broker in neighboring Lebanon.
In Jerusalem, opposition leader Shimon Peres said Sunday his Labor Party would not join a coalition government unless Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed to negotiate with the Palestinians over a planned evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip and accompany it with a large-scale withdrawal from the West Bank.
In the West Bank, Israeli troops used tear gas and clubs on Sunday to disperse several hundred Palestinians protesting the construction of a security barrier, witnesses said. The army said the soldiers fired tear gas after the crowd started throwing stones.