Israeli planes struck at Palestinian guerrillas base in the southern Lebanon on Thursday (3 August) following a bomb blast in Tel Aviv's market place which killed at least one person and wounded 46.
Israeli planes struck at Palestinian guerrillas base in the southern Lebanon on Thursday (3 August) following a bomb blast in Tel Aviv's market place which killed at least one person and wounded 46. A government spokesman said the main target of the air force raid was the base at Dahr el-Tutah, south of Sidon, which was described as a springboard for guerrilla operations gainst Israel. Meanwhile, Lebanese army units deployed in the south were still at their staging post in the Kawkaba area.
SYNOPSIS: On Monday (31 July), UN Peacekeeping troops in the south were expecting the Lebanese army to move into the area in a bid to reassert government authority. Some local people were even busy putting out banners and flags to welcome the soldiers, the first Lebanese regular forces to attempt to move into the south since the 1975-76 war. But, the troops were halted in Kawkaba when militia shelling and roadblocks halted their advance.
Both the Lebanese army and the UN force in Kawkaba have come under artillery fire by the right-wing Christian militia. On Wednesday (2 August) the militia called on the Lebanese soldiers and the UN to pull out of the position, but a UN spokesman in Beirut said the request was turned down and he warned the militia of serious consequences if their action continued. The Christian forces claimed the Lebanese units were being led by Syrian officers and are trying to prevent the army from moving into areas along the Israeli border.
Lebanese President Elias Sarkis has called the attempt at deploying his forces in the south a move to restore sovereignty over 'every inch of Lebanese territory'. But diplomats in Beirut see this as unlikely while some 50,000 foreign troops are based in the country.