News from Beirut August  26  1998 ...Search

Israel escalates attacks on South Lebanon

Israel today intensified its attacks on civilian villages in South Lebanon.Israeli bombardment targeted areas in the Western Sector of the occupied zone including the villages of Sawwaneh, Zibkeen, Yater, and Majdel Selem.

Israel also shelled Sojod, Rayhan, Mazraat Okmata, and Lowaizeh in the Iqlim Al-Touffah area.

For its part, the Amal Movement today retaliated to Israel's assassination of one of its senior military officials in a helicopter attack yesterday. The Movement carried out operations against seven Israeli posts in Qantara, Sojod, and Salaa killing an Israeli allied militiaman and wounding others.

Last night, Hizbullah launched more than 60 Katyusha rockets on Northern Israel in retaliation for yesterday's increased Israeli attacks which resulted in the injury of six Lebanese civilians, including a child, in the Western Bekaa village of Mashghara. The rockets struck the Israeli settlements of Kiryat Shmona and Nahariya wounding 10 Israelis.

Amal officer buried amid strong condemnation of his assassination

Amal's senior military official was today buried in his hometown of Matarieh. Mourners and a number of Lebanese officials condemned his killing. Al-Amin was assassinated yesterday during an Israeli helicopter attack which targeted his car on a coastal road six kilometers South of the port-city of Tyre. Al-Amin was buried amid tense feelings and calls for the persistence of resistance against the Israeli occupation.

Cabinet discusses Israeli violence in the South

Cabinet this evening meets at the presidential palace in Baabda. The session will be headed by President Elias Al-Hrawi and attended by Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri and the ministers. Following a day of alarming Israeli violence in the South, cabinet is expected to tackle the overall situation there in this evening's session. Ministers will also hold talks on Israel's recent threats to strike Lebanon's infrastructure whenever Israeli soldiers are killed in the South. The threats were voiced by Israel's Internal Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani last week. Other economic, social, and cultural issues are to top the agenda of the session which includes 57 clauses.

Abdel Majid holds talks with Hariri over the situation in the South

The Secretary General of the Arab League Issmat Abdel Majid today held talks at the Grand Saray with Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri. The Arab League secretary general and the premier tackled in their discussions the situation in South Lebanon and the escalation of Israeli violence. Abdel Majid arrived in Beirut last evening to open an Arab conference on Legal Arbitration. Upon his arrival, Abdel Majid condemned the Israeli ongoing attacks on Southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa.

Berri and Murr meet over the dangerous situation in the South

In parliament today, House Speaker Nabih Berri today discussed the escalating situation in the South with Deputy Premier Interior Minister Michel Al-Murr. Al-Murr later described the situation in the South as dangerous. He added the situation is being evaluated and closely followed by Lebanese leaders. On the expected Lebanese-Syrian summit, Murr said it will take place when Lebanese President Elias Al-Hrawi and Syrian President Hafez Al-Assaad agree on a date. The House Speaker also held similar discussions with Lebanese deputies.

Shamseddine calls for high precautions in the South

The head of the Higher Shiite Council Mohammed Mahdi Shamseddine today said the situation in the South demands high precautions because, he added, Israel's aggressive intentions require the persistence of resistance against the occupation. Shamseddine today said in a statement Israel should keep in mind that the resistance will always retaliate in the same intensity of the Israeli attacks. He added Tel Aviv should stop its aggressions against Lebanon and implement UN Security Council Resolution 425 without conditions.

Syria's press warns against new Israeli offensive on Lebanon

Syrian newspapers today warned against an Israeli high-scale offensive on Lebanon calling for a firm Arab stance in the face of Israel's threats and dangerous escalation. The Syrian daily Al-Baath reported that the Israeli government's escalation in the South is aimed at absorbing internal complaint in the Jewish state which results from the increased losses among the Israeli army in Southern Lebanon. Al-Baath warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of carrying out any offensive against the South adding he will have to bear all the consequences.

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