News from Beirut February 16  1998 ...Search

Five civilians injured in South Lebanon

Around thirty Katyusha rockets were launched Saturday night on the occupied South and the Galilee injuring five civilians in the villages of Shihine and Yarine in the eastern sector of the occupied zone. One of them was injured seriously and was taken to a hospital inside Israel. The four others were taken to Jabal Amel hospital in Tyre. The Islamic Resistance denied any responsibility for the shelling. But no other party claimed responsibility. Rockets that fell into the Galilee caused damage in one of  the settlements. Meanwhile, the coordinator of Israeli activities in the South Yuri Lubrani announced Israel refuses military threat. Lubrani told Israeli Radio his country does not want any escalation in the situation in South Lebanon. In another development, the resistance in South Lebanon claimed responsibility for an operation which targeted an Israeli allied militia patrol in Kfar Houna. One man was injured during the operation. The resistance also said it attacked the Israeli outposts in Sojod, Hmayyed, and Bir Kallab scoring direct hits.

Kuwaiti planning minister arrives in Lebanon

Kuwait's planning and development minister Ali al-Zoumeih arrived in Beirut to hold talks with top Lebanese officials on the Iraqi-US crisis. He is scheduled to meet President Elias Al-Hrawi at Baabda later today. The Kuwaiti minister is carrying a letter to the Lebanese president from Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabbah, explaining Kuwait's stance on the current Iraqi crisis. He is also scheduled to meet House Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri during his 24-hour visit to Lebanon. Upon his arrival at Beirut's International Airport, the Kuwaiti minister reiterated his country's insistence that Iraq should comply with UN resolutions. But he added his country supports the resort to diplomacy "until the last minute".

Al-Sahhaf and Al-Kaddoumi arrive shortly in Beirut for talks on Iraq

Iraqi foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahhaf is due to arrive in the Lebanese capital shortly to rally support for his country. He is the first Iraqi official to visit Lebanon since bilateral ties between the two countries were cut almost four years ago. Also as part of high-level diplomatic contacts in the country, the head of the political department in the Palestinian Liberation Organization will arrive in Lebanon on Tuesday.

He will hold talks with Lebanese officials on the Iraqi situation and other regional issues. Lebanon has opposed a US military strike on Iraq calling for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

Nasrallah reiterates call for Israeli unconditional withdrawal

Hizbullah's secretary general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah reiterated his call for an Israeli unconditional withdrawal from South Lebanon without security guarantees. He added that UN Chief Kofi Annan, during his canceled visit to the region, was carrying suggestions concerning UN Security Council Resolution 425. In his speech, Nasrallah also urged President Elias Al-Hrawi to postpone his proposal for an optional civil marriage law saying there were more vital issues that needed to be addressed. Nasrallah added Hizbullah will not accept the implementation of this proposal. Nasrallah was speaking during a celebration to commemorate the fifth anniversary of  the assassination of former Hizbullah secretary-general Abbas Musawi. The celebration was attended by a number of Lebanese officials including deputy Zaher Al-Khatib and minister Ghazi Seifeddine.

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