News from Beirut August  25  1998 ...Search

Casualties among civilians and resistance men rise as Israeli attacks continue on the South

Israel today shelled the village of Mashghara in the Western Bekaa Valley, injuring four Lebanese civilians, including a child, and damaging a Syrian post. Reports from the Bekaa also said a Hizbullah resistance man was wounded in the bombardment. Thirty shells targeted the village today causing damage in seven civilian houses.

In another development, a senior Amal military official, Hussam Al-Amin, was today killed when an Israeli gunner bombarded his car. An air-to-ground missile struck his car fired by an Apache helicopter while he was driving on a road six kilometers south of Tyre.

Israel also today shelled the riverbank of Habboush, Wadi Al-Kfour, the outskirts of Nabatieh and villages in the Iqlim Al-Touffah Mountain Ridges. Security sources in occupied Marjayoon said resistance shelling targeted the Israeli outpost of Sojod late last night.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese resistance today carried out an operation against an Israeli allied militia patrol passing in Toumat Neeha in the central sector of the occupied zone. The resistance announced that the roadside bomb explosion injured a member of the patrol seriously.

Yohmor's main source of living threatened by Israeli shells

The residents of the southern village of Yohmor-Shkeef are still suffering from Israeli attacks which target their main source of living: olive trees. Recent Israeli bombardment of the village blazed fires in vast areas of olive fields. In this regard, a delegation from the village today visited the governor of Nabatieh Mahmud Al-Mawla briefing him on their miserable situation. The delegation also demanded compensation for damage in their agriculture, water, and road networks resulting from Israel's continuous attacks on Yohmor.

Kahalani calls on Israel to withdraw its troops from the South

Israel's Internal Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani today called on the Israeli government to secure settlements and to pullout Israeli troops from South Lebanon. He was speaking to reporters during a visit to settlements in Northern Israel. Kahalani added Lebanon does not pose a threat to Israel's existence. He also affirmed Beirut is capable of extending its authority to the occupied zone. But Kahalani claimed that the occupied Syrian Golan Heights form a security belt for Israel adding that the issue can only be settled after a peace agreement is reached with Damascus.

Hariri: no fear of an Israeli offensive against the South

Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today expressed no fear of any Israeli military operation to be carried out against South Lebanon. Hariri added he received comforting statements from a number of world leaders regarding the situation in the South. Sources close to the premier said he received international assurances that Israel will not intensify its attacks on the South.

At the Grand Saray, the premier received Tripoli's Maronite Archbishop and the ambassador of Azerbijan to Lebanon. Hariri also held talks with a delegation of the Association of Beiruti Merchants on the economic situation in the country. The premier later discussed ways US investors can take part in Lebanon's reconstruction drive with the head of the US Businessmen's Institute who visited him along with the president of Beirut's chamber of trade and commerce, Adnan Qassar.

US charge d'affairs reiterates his country's efforts at just peace and informs foreign ministry of the decision concerning Lockerbie bombers

The US embassy's charge d'affairs Greg Perry today stressed that his country has always worked for peace in Lebanon and it will continue its efforts to reach a just and comprehensive peace in Lebanon and the region. He was speaking after talks with the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry Zafer Al-Hassan.

The charge d'affairs at the US and the UK embassies in Beirut also informed the Lebanese foreign ministry of their country's decision regarding the two Libyans accused of the 1988 Lokerbe airline bombing. The US embassy official, Greg Perry later told reporters at Boustrous Palace that the UK, the US and the Netherlands have agreed that the two Libyans should be tried according to Scottish law before Scottish judges in a trial to take place in the Netherlands if the Libyan regime is prepared, as it has announced, to surrender the suspects. Perry added this is another example of the determination of the United States to take appropriate action to deal with terrorism. Perry later headed to Baabda where he held a meeting with President Elias Hrawi.

Hrawi stresses Lebanon is on the threshold of a new era

President Elias Al-Hrawi reiterated his trust in the future of the country. He also stressed Lebanon is on the verge of a new era calling on its citizens to participate in creating the contents of this era. The president said that Lebanon, which overcame many difficulties and which could in few years excel neighboring countries on many levels, certainly has a promising future. Hrawi was speaking to his visitors at the presidential palace in Baabda.

Abdel Majid arrives this evening in Beirut

The Secretary General of the Arab League Issmat Abdel Majid will arrive this evening in Beirut. During his visit to the country, Abdel Majid is expected to open an Arab conference on Legal Arbitration. He is also scheduled to hold meetings with top Lebanese leaders. Discussions are expected to tackle the situation in South Lebanon in light of Israeli escalation and threats. Recent developments in the region and the Middle East Peace Process will also be the center of talks between Abdel Majid and Lebanese officials.

Cabinet meets tomorrow at Baabda

Cabinet will hold its weekly session tomorrow at the presidential palace in Baabda. The meeting will be headed by President Elias Al-Hrawi and attended by Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri and the ministers. 57 clauses are to top the agenda of talks. The subjects include enabling the state-run Tele Liban to rent a satellite broadcasting channel, activating the industry sector in Lebanon, and signing an agreement of cultural cooperation between Lebanon and Tunisia among other issues.

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