The Israeli army today admitted its failure yesterday when a Lebanese resistance man infiltrated an Israeli outpost in Mount Sojod in Iqlim Al-Touffah. The French News Agency today quoted a high-ranking Israeli officer as saying the resistance member managed to get a few meters close to two Israeli soldiers who were guarding the position. After firing at the soldiers, he fought with another soldier before withdrawing. This was also reported today by the Israeli dailies Maariv and Yedioth Ahronoth quoting an Israeli military source in Jerusalem as saying this is a dreadful failure.
Israel at noon shelled the hills of Ain Al-Teeneh and Bourkat Al-Jabbour in the Western Bekaa. The shells were launched from Israeli positions in Wadi Abu-Kamha. Last night, intensive Israeli air raids also targeted the village of Mashghara in the Western Bekaa destroying the electricity network in the village. Israeli bombardment also targeted today areas in Iqlim Al-Touffah, Sojod and Lowaizeh.
For its part, the Lebanese resistance early this morning carried out an operation on the Israeli outpost of Sojod. A statement by the resistance said direct hits were scored in the attack.
The five-nation cease-fire monitoring group this morning met at the UNIFIL's headquarters in Naqoura to look into four complaints filed by Lebanon and Israel over violations of the April understanding. Lebanon filed two complaints. The first is related to the injury of a Lebanese civilian and the destruction of one civilian home in the village of Majdel Zoun during Israeli shelling of the area last Sunday. The second Lebanese complaint centers on the injury of another civilian, the destruction of 10 civilian homes, three cars, and water and electricity networks in the village of Ain Qana during Israeli shelling of the village last Thursday.
For their part, the Israeli delegates to the group presented a complaint alleging that resistance shelling targeted areas inside the occupied territories causing damage in two civilian cars. Israel also lodged a second complaint claiming the resistance shelled its outposts in Iqlim Al-Touffah from civilian areas in Jbaa. A statement is expected at the end of the panel's session.
Interior Minister Michel Al-Murr today headed to Damascus for talks with top Syrian officials regarding the tense political atmosphere currently prevalent in the country. Such a situation results from a war of words that is taking place between House Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri over the opening of an extraordinary session in parliament to pass the salary scales bill. Murr late last night held talks with both Hariri and Berri. After his meeting with the House Speaker, Murr described the atmosphere as calm. For his part, the premier is currently on a private vacation with his family in Sardinia. He is not expected to return before next Monday. Thus, cabinet's session will not be held tomorrow as scheduled.
At the presidential palace in Baabda, President Elias Al-Hrawi held talks today with a delegation of the General Labor Confederation headed by its newly elected president, Elias Abu- Rizk. Discussions centered on issues related to GLC demands. Hrawi later received the Maronite Archbishop of Zahle, Elias Haddad.
On the diplomatic level, the president held talks with the Canadian ambassador to Lebanon Daniel Marchand. The Brazilian ambassador to Lebanon, Brian Michael Fraser Neele, also met Hrawi in a farewell visit. He was honored yesterday by Foreign Minister Faris Boueiz on behalf of the president and was decorated by the Order of the Cedars in appreciation of his role in boosting bilateral ties between his country and Lebanon during his term in office.
The Kuwaiti ambassador to Lebanon, Abdel Razzak Al-Kandari, today met Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa in a farewell visit. Al-Kandari later thanked Sabaa and his team at the ministry for their help and support during his term in office as an ambassador to his country. He added this further enabled him to work on boosting the already friendly ties between Lebanon and Kuwait. He also praised the recent reception of Kuwait's Information Minister Youssef Al-Smeit in Lebanon which was aimed at encouraging cooperation between the two ministries in the near future. The Kuwaiti ambassador later held similar farewell visits to Acting Finance Minister Fouad Sanyoura and Deputy Ali Khalil.
The smearing heat wave that strikes the country and other parts of the region and the world today relatively receded in Lebanon. The temperature scored 30 degrees Celsius today in Beirut. Meteorologists in the country say cooler and less humid weather is on the way. The heat caused tens of fires yesterday in different forests and fields throughout the country.
Civil Defense teams have been working hard in fire fighting. They have been even on the alert in anticipation of any possible other blazes.
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