Israeli gunboats anchored just off Tyre in southern Lebanon, shelled a Palestinian refugee camp for about 45 minutes on Sunday (19 May) killing at least five people and wounding a dozen others.
Israeli gunboats anchored just off Tyre in southern Lebanon, shelled a Palestinian refugee camp for about 45 minutes on Sunday (19 May) killing at least five people and wounding a dozen others. The attack was seen as another Israeli reprisal for last week's Palestinian Commando attack on Ma'alot school in Israel in which 25 Israelis and three commandos died.
Rashidieh Camp, about three miles (5 kms) south of Tyre, where 12,000 United Nations registered refugees live, was the centre of the attack. Women, children and old men were evacuated during the bombardment but some women were reported to be among the casualties.
Four Israeli ships, three gunboats and one larger support ship, carried out the shelling, according to witnesses. A statement from the Lebanese Defence Ministry said the gunboats were supported by "several formations of enemy aircraft". The Ministry statement also said that Lebanese army gunners had scored a direct hit on one of the Israeli boats, which were then forced to withdraw.
Tension between Israel and Lebanon has escalated since the Ma'alot killings. On Thursday (16 May) Israeli aircraft carried out a series of raids on palestinian refugee camps and other targets in southern Lebanon. Forty-eight people were killed and 148 were wounded in these attacks according to the Lebanese Defence Ministry.