Israeli deaths in south Lebanon highest for 10 years
Thursday 02 January 1997
The soldiers' deaths make up the highest annual Israeli death toll on the last active Arab-Israeli frontline for more than a decade.
In 1995, 175 people died in south Lebanon violence including 23 Israeli soldiers. A year earlier, 21 Israelis were among 201 people killed there. The 1996 figure is the highest annual Israeli death toll in Lebanon since 1985, when 37 soldiers died.
The Jewish state pulled out the bulk of its 1982 invasion force that year and set up a border zone in the south to protect its northern areas from raids.
Besides the 27 Israeli casualties, the 1996 death toll includes 155 civilians and 54 guerrillas belonging mainly to the pro-Iranian Hizbollah and 19 militiamen of the Israeli-allied South Lebanon Army (SLA).
In 1995, the guerrillas killed 33 SLA men while the Israelis and their militia allies killed 72 guerrillas.
The main reason behind the rise in the south Lebanon death figures last year was a 17-day Israeli blitz against Hizbollah in April that - according to Lebanese officials - killed at least 170 people, mostly civilians.
A US-brokered ceasefire agreement that ended the campaign, barred firing at civilians but allowed raids on the Israeli-held zone and gave both sides the right to self-defence.
Some 1,000 Israeli troops and the 3,000-strong SLA control a the 15- mile-wide zone in south Lebanon. They come under attack almost every day from Hizbollah and other groups.
Most of the Israeli and SLA casualties fall in roadside bomb attacks against their patrols or in coordinated guerrilla raids on patrols or posts using mortar bombs, rockets or machineguns.
Lebanon's official National News Agency has reported that, barring the April Hizbollah-Israel fighting, the guerrillas have launched a total of 365 attacks on the Israelis or SLA in 1996. The remainder of the 1996 casualties in Lebanon include 13 people killed in various explosions in the country and 132 killed in non-political murders. There were 103 non- political murders in Lebanon in 1995 and 120 a year earlier.
Israeli planes raided suspected guerrilla targets in south Lebanon on Tuesday night shortly after a guerrilla attack on two Israeli army posts.
A Hizbollah spokesman in Beirut said that the air attack targeted the Jabal Sojoud area of the Iqlim al-Toufah ridge used by the pro-Iranian guerrillas to wage attacks on Israeli forces occupying the border zone.
Sources with the SLA militia said the Israeli jets raided Iqlim al-Toufah after guerrillas attacked two Israeli posts on the edge of the Israeli- held zone. No one was hurt in the assaults, they said.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 Comfortable in their own skin
- 3 Japanese plant experts produce 10,000 lettuce heads a day in LED-lit indoor farm
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Israel-Gaza conflict: Death toll tops 125 after overnight raids as Operation Protective Edge continues
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...