Israeli guns find Hizbollah an elusive target: Armoured column moves into southern Lebanon to attack guerrillas as Rabin threatens to make area uninhabitable

FOR Israel's big guns, blasting away in the most intensive co-ordinated air and artillery attacks on south and north Lebanon since Israel's ill-fated invasion in 1982, the 'target' remained elusive.

The Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin vowed while touring the border to make southern Lebanon uninhabitable if guerrilla attacks continued. 'If there is not quiet here, there will be such 'unquiet' (in south Lebanon) that they won't be able to live there,' Rabin said.

Army radio said that a column of tanks and armoured personnel carriers was moving toward the security zone: 'For the first time tanks of the armoured corps are making their way north.'

Meanwhile, under Bear Mountain, on a stretch of desolate scrubland, in the enclave Israel calls its 'security zone', computerised intelligence about the enemy movements was coming in fast. Every two minutes, from 8am, Israeli 175mm artillery pieces ranged on the slopes of south Lebanon took aim, pounding the hills opposite.

Ze'ev, a 21-year-old lieutenant, said the mood at the battery, the biggest in the zone, was 'very good'. 'We have been waiting for a long time to be able to get back at the terrorists (the term used by Israelis for anyone who takes up arms against them) who have been killing our people. At last we have been given the green light,' he said.

But at 4pm the battery was told their 'targets' had scored another hit. Hizbollah, the Iranian-backed militia of Lebanese Islamic militants, had fired a Katyusha rocket almost over their heads - it landed at Kiryat Shimona, the northern Israeli town, where two Israelis died in a similar attack on Sunday. For now the battery had no news of injuries but the soldiers yelped with anger and crawled atop their guns again.

'We know where the Katyusha was fired from,' said a reserve colonel staring across towards a small Lebanese village. Another volley of shells then thundered across the valley, stirring up a pall of smoke.

Israel has said that this time it is determined to win the war on its northern border by wiping out the Hizbollah and the Palestinian gunmen who inhabit the villages opposite the nine-mile wide area Israel occupied in south Lebanon as a buffer to protect its northern settlements.

But yesterday, despite two days of the most intensive bombardment there was no sign of victory.

Indeed, one Israeli soldier was killed yesterday in a Hizbollah attack on a position near the village of Braachit in south Lebanon with anti- tank rockets and mortar bombs, according to Lebanese security sources.

Yesterday began with an Israeli commando raid on a Palestinian militia training camp south of Tripoli, in northern Lebanon. Israeli helicopter gunships and fighter planes continued to pound suspected ammunition dumps, supply lines and militia strongholds, and more than 1,000 Israeli shells were fired from artillery batteries towards targets in southern Lebanon. In reply, an estimated 67 Katyusha rockets had been fired at Israeli positions by late yesterday.

The town of Kiryat Shimona, always an easy target for the gunmen in south Lebanon, sprawled vulnerably on the hillside just five miles from the Israel's northern boundary. Throughout the day children and old people had been piled into buses and evacuated from the area. Other residents took shelter in bunkers, as Cobra helicopter gunships hovered overhead and jeeps patrolled the streets.

It was perhaps no comfort to these people that Israeli commanders were claiming to have a new strategy for putting an end to this intractable conflict. Army colonels explained yesterday that the first part of the plan, instituted with Sunday's air raids, had been to 'teach the Hizbollah a lesson' and to warn them off.

But yesterday's violence showed the lesson had been ignored. 'So today we have tried some new parts of the menu,' said one reserve colonel. 'We have a very rich menu.'

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
“What is it like being a girl?” was the question on the lips of one inquisitive Reddit user this week
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
peopleMario Balotelli poses with 'shotgun' in controversial Instagram pic
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Arts and Entertainment
The successful ITV drama Broadchurch starring David Tenant and Olivia Coleman came to an end tonight
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

JavaScript Developer (Angular, Web Forms, HTML5, Ext JS,CSS3)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: JavaScript Dev...


£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

SAP Data Migration Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...

Programme Support, Coms, Bristol, £300-350p/d

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice