Guerrillas make presence felt in blood

Israel has seldom been fortunate in Lebanon. It was in an early foray across the Lebanese border against the Vichy French in 1941 that Moshe Dayan, Israel's most famous soldier, lost his left eye to a sniper, requiring him to wear what became the world's most famous eye patch.

Subsequent Israeli intervention has never produced the results expected. The ambush of an Israeli patrol by Hizbollah guerrillas early yesterday morning, in which five soldiers were killed and eight wounded, underlines the failure of the 17-day Israeli bombardment of south Lebanon in April. "We were completely surprised," one of the wounded men told Israeli radio.

It is the second ambush since the Israeli election, bringing to nine the number of Israeli dead. Both attacks show careful planning, good intelligence and the use of well-trained guerrillas. Israeli military sources confirmed Hizbollah's claim that an entire patrol from the Nahal infantry brigade, returning to its base near Beaufort castle, was killed or wounded.

Shimon Peres, the Prime Minister, said the attack in Lebanon was "serious" and Israel would "respond at a time and place of its own choosing". After flying to south Lebanon he later met Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister- elect, to discuss events there. Mr Netanyahu won the election by promising "peace with security" to Israelis. In office he may respond to Hizbollah attacks by air strikes against targets in parts of Lebanon held by Syria.

The ambush in Lebanon came a few hours after two Israeli settlers, Efrat and Yaron Unger, from the militant settlement at Kiryat Arba near Hebron, were shot dead in their car at Beit Shemesh in Israel. Their nine-month- old son, Ishai, survived unhurt.

The killing of Mr and Mrs Unger, both Orthodox Jews, may make it more difficult for Mr Netanyahu to redeploy Israeli troops from Hebron. "I think a suitable answer to such a terrible event should be to hold the land more strongly with our fingers and with our nails deep, deep in the earth," said Uri Dasberg, Efrat's father. Her mother Judith said: "We hope they are the last victims of the Oslo accord."

The couple were killed as they returned from a wedding late on Sunday night, but they were still within Israel when the attack occurred.

Unlike the other West Bank towns, Israeli forces have yet to withdraw from Hebron, a city of 100,000 Palestinians in the heart of which are 450 Israeli settlers. Israeli troops forced Palestinian shopkeepers to close their shops yesterday saying they feared retaliation by settlers.

Meanwhile in Gaza the Palestinian authorities have once again arrested Iyad Sarraj, the leading Palestinian human rights activist who was held for nine days last month after sharply criticising the government of Yasser Arafat for carrying out arbitrary arrests and torturing suspects. Mr Sarraj was picked up at his Gaza City home on Sunday night by eight Palestinian policemen who gave no reason for his arrest.

Khalid Kidreh, the Palestinian attorney general, said Mr Sarraj, the head of the Palestinian Commission for Citizens Rights, would be questioned for 48 hours, but declined to say why. Mr Sarraj's original offence was to give an interview to the New York Times in which he said Mr Arafat's government, established in Gaza in 1994, was corrupt and dictatorial.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions