US' Ned Price urges Lebanon to stop Hezbollah's rocket fire

US' Ned Price urges Lebanon government to stop Hezbollah's rocket fire at Israel
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US State Department spokesperson Ned Price urged Lebanon's government to stop Hezbollah launching rockets at Israel during a period that has seen the two enemies exchange fire.
Ned Price called on the Lebanese government to stop Hezbollah's rocket fire [AFP/Getty]

The United States on Friday urged Lebanon's government to prevent Hezbollah militants from firing rockets at Israel, as tensions between the long-time foes escalated.

"We call upon the Lebanese government urgently to prevent such attacks and bring the area under its control," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

"We strongly encourage all efforts to maintain calm."

Hezbollah, a Shia movement backed by Iran, has long exerted a powerful role in Lebanon, which is wracked by an economic meltdown and has only had a caretaker government for nearly a year.

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The United States said it condemned "in the strongest terms" the volley of rockets fired by Hezbollah into Israel, which retaliated by launching its first airstrikes on its northern neighbour in seven years.

In this latest period, many of the rockets fired by Hezbollah have targeted the Shebaa Farms, which Tel Aviv has annexed and has been occupying for decades.

The United States is the foremost international supporter of Israel and earlier said that the Jewish state had a right to defend itself.