Prospects of peace in troubled Lebanon diminished at the weekend (April 21-22) with further fighting between Palestinian guerrillas and Israeli forces.
Prospects of peace in troubled Lebanon diminished at the weekend (April 21-22) with further fighting between Palestinian guerrillas and Israeli forces. In an accustomed pattern of killing and revenge, Israeli gunboats bombarded a Palestinian refugee camp in Northern Lebanon a few hours after guerrillas had raided the Israeli resort town of Nahariya, on Sunday (22 April). The Israelis were outraged by that attack, which left a young father and his two infant daughters dead.
SYNOPSIS: The Palestinian raiders reached Nahariya, a seaside resort six miles (9.6 kms) south of the Lebanese border, early on Sunday (22 April). There were only four guerrillas involved, but they managed to create havoc before being stopped. Two young sisters, and their civilian father, Danny Haran, were killed.
The fourth victim, a police sergeant, was killed when the guerrillas opened fire on a passing patrol car. Four other Israelis were wounded, and two Palestinian attackers were killed. The other two have been taken prisoner.
Help came at last to twenty-eight year-old Danny Haran...ut it was too late.
He had earlier been attacked in his home by the guerrillas, and witnesses heard him plead four his family. Mr. Haran said he would go with the guerrillas if they forced he and his four-year-old daughter outside the house at gunpoint.
Israeli Defence Minister Ezer Weizman cancelled a trip to Cairo to investigate the attack. The guerrillas, members of the Iraqi-backed Palestine Liberation Front had arrived at Nahariya in this French-made dinghy. They headed into the town and attacked civilians in two adjacent blocks of apartments.
The following day (23 April), hundreds mourned at the funeral of Naran and his daughters at Tivon, near Nahariyah. The younger daughter, only tow years old, had been found dead in their apartment after the raid. It's believed she was hiding in a cupboard with her mother, and accidentally suffocated when Mrs. Haran held a hand over her mouth to prevent her from crying out.
Some outraged Israelis have renewed calls for the death penalty for terrorists. Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who attended the funeral, will be asked to discuss the issue by his parliament, the Knesset.
In a letter to the United Nations deploring the Nahariya attack, Israeli delegate Yehuda Blum said the Palestine Liberation Organisation has chosen 'its own murderous way' to mark the International year of the Child, with the slaughter and injury of innocent children.
The Israeli cabinet condemned the attack as 'barbarous murder', and promised they would retaliate. Interior Minister Josef Burg said, "We are going to react everywhere and in every possible way."