Israel today shelled the outskirts of the village of Yater in South Lebanon. Israeli warplanes also carried out mock air-raids on the village of Nabatieh and the Iqlim Al-Touffah area. Later today, Lebanese police said Israeli aircraft bombed a Hizbullah base in the eastern Bekaa valley. They said it was not immediately known whether there were any casualties.
Police added at 15-minute intervals beginning at 4:10 p.m. (1410 GMT), Israeli warplanes dropped eight air-to-ground missiles on the Zellaya valley where the group has artillery positions. Police reports also said members of the Islamic Resistance and Lebanese soldiers fired anti-aircraft batteries in a vain attempt to force the planes higher. The Israeli air raid was the eighth into Lebanon since the beginning if the year. For its part, Hizbullah shelled outposts of the Israeli allied militia at Zemrayya and Hmayyed inside the zone Israel occupies in the South. The Israeli militia radio made no mention of casualties or damage in the attack.
In another development, the five-nation cease-fire monitoring group is expected to meet tomorrow in Naqoura to look into two Lebanese complaints and another one lodged by Israel over alleged truce violations.
Israel today freed eight Lebanese detainees from the Khiam detention center. They are: Adnan Nouwaisy and Ali Rahhal from the village of Adayseh, Nassar Abdo Nassar and Jamal Rhayyel from Shibaa, Ibrahim Suleiman Slim from Houla, and Fayez Rislan and Mohammed Fakih from Kfar Kila. But on the other hand, Israel detained a Hasbayya resident, Talih Hassan Abu Rashed, and led him to the Khiam prison.
Argentinean president Carlos Menem today left Beirut after a three-day official visit. He headed to Cairo on the second leg of his tour in the Middle East where he is expected to inaugurate a $100 million non-military reactor built by Argentina. During the past three days, Menem held talks with his Lebanese counterpart Elias Al-Hrawi. Yesterday, he attended a special parliamentary session addressing deputies and officials as saying the Middle East peace process should be completed under the guidelines of the Madrid Conference and the Oslo and Washington accords. Menem also visited Lebanons National Museum and the ancient city of Jbeil. During his visit, the South American president also held a meeting with Lebanese businessmen hoping his country would be able to participate in Lebanons reconstruction. Menem and the accompanying delegation last night attended a dinner reception in their honor given by Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri, who praised Argentinas support for peace throughout the world and especially in the Middle East and called for enhanced relations and cooperation with Argentina on all levels. In Argentina, there are about 1.5 million Lebanese, the second largest expatriates community in South America after Brazil.
President Elias Al-Hrawi and Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri this morning held talks at the presidential palace in Baabda following the farewell ceremony of Argentinean president Carlos Menem held at Beiruts International Airport. The two leaders discussed the outcome of Hariris latest talks in Saudi Arabia, France and Syria. Their meeting also focused on the next cabinet session to be held tomorrow. The Lebanese cabinet yesterday postponed its weekly session originally scheduled for today. The cabinet session will be held tomorrow morning at the presidential palace in Baabda and is due to cover 49 items on the agenda of discussions. Sources close to cabinet expect ministers to prolong the period of the Lebanese armys security arrangements in the Bekaa area.
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today held talks with the Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon Adel Al-Khodari at the government palace. After the meeting, Khodari said discussion focused on the outcome of Egyptian president Hosni Mubaraks contacts with different Arab leaders concerning the Iraq-UN standoff. They also discussed recent regional developments and the stalemate in the Mideast peace process. The Lebanese premier also recieved today the Japanese ambassador to Lebanon Yasuji Ishigaki during a farewell visit. ýHariri later held talks with the Kuwaiti ambassador to Lebanon Abdel Razzak Al-Kandari on bilateral ties. Prime minister Hariri today received congratulatory letters on the occasion of the feast of fast breaking or what is known as Eid Al-Fiter from US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and UAE president Emir Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan.
The head of the Iranian Shura Council Sheikh Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri is expected to arrive in Lebanon tomorrow morning for a three-day official visit following an invitation from House Speaker Nabih Berri. His expected visit follows two days of talks in Damascus with Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad and his vice president Abdel Halim Khaddam. In Beirut, discussions are expected to center on ways to develop bilateral ties, particularly between the two nations parliaments. Talks will also tackle recent Arab and regional developments as well as the Middle East peace process. The meeting will be attended by a Lebanese-Iranian committee chosen to promote cordial relations between the two parliaments. Following the discussions with Berri, Nouri and the committee are expected to visit President Elias Al-Hrawi and Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri. The Iranian official is also expected to tour South Lebanon on Friday.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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