Lebanon has complained to the United Nations Security Council following Wednesday's (2 August) raid into Southern Lebanon by an Israeli Commando unit.
Lebanon has complained to the United Nations Security Council following Wednesday's (2 August) raid into Southern Lebanon by an Israeli Commando unit. Eight people died in the raid. The American State Department has said it regrets the incident pointing out that such attacks make the achievement of peace and stability in the area all the more difficult.
SYNOPSIS: The Israeli commando force penetrated about fifteen kilometres (nine miles) into an area of Southern Lebanon which is a traditional base for Palestinian guerrillas. Although the UN denies it, the Israelis claim their unit slipped through an area controlled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces (UNIFIL) to reach the targets. Israel has been especially critical of the effectiveness of the UNIFIL troops recently, saying the give unwitting protection to the forces of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) operating in Southern Lebanon.
Five Lebanese Communists and three Palestinian commandoes died in the raid. The Israelis claim the attack was directed at two camps of the Fatah military wing of the PLO, but Palestinian sources said it was a Lebanese leftist camp near the village of Kaukaba which bore the brunt of the attack. This raid is the latest in a series of Israeli attacks which have inflicted heavy civilian casualties in South Lebanon over the past few months.
Beirut radio says scores of houses were damaged in the raid. A power station was destroyed and crops set on fire. The Israeli commander said his force wiped out everybody at the base, destroying the trenches, buildings and tents used there. After the raid Palestinian artillery exchanged fire with right-wing Lebanese forces near the Israeli border. The Palestinian news agency WAFA claims fifty people have been killed and over a hundred wounded in Israeli attacks on southern Lebanon in the last month.