Hizbollah resumes 'normal' shelling

JERUSALEM - Activity by terrorists, the Israeli term for anyone who takes up arms against them, was back almost to normal, the Israeli commander of the Northern Region, Major-General Yitzhak Mordechai, announced in a tour of Israel's south Lebanon enclave on Sunday, writes Charles Richards.

His words were ominously prophetic. They also underlined what 'normal' means in this area. Within hours four Israeli soldiers were killed in south Lebanon yesterday when they were ambushed near the village of Rihan by Lebanese Hizbollah fighters, according to Lebanese security sources.

General Mordechai said there had been a marked decline in attacks by Hizbollah on Israeli targets in south Lebanon and on units of Israel's proxy militia, the South Lebanon Army, before the Geneva summit between President Bill Clinton and the Syrian leader, Hafez al-Assad last month.

'There were several days of almost complete quiet . . . Now in the past few days we have been witnessing another upsurge in terrorist activities against the security zone (as Israel calls its southern Lebanon enclave),' he said in Marjayoun, Israel's headquarters in Lebanon. Yesterday Marjayoun came under rocket attacks, and a woman and her four children were wounded, according to hospital officials.

CAIRO - The Israeli Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres, said yesterday he and the Palestine Liberation Organisation chairman, Yasser Arafat, had made progress in an hour of talks in Cairo on the deadlock over Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho, Reuter reports.

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