Israelis walk fine line between peace and war in Lebanon
On the ridge at Tibnin, southern Lebanon, yesterday, just opposite the Israeli gun pits, Irish pipers of the United Nations peace-keeping force played for St Patrick's Day. Irish songs drifted across the wadis as Sean Barret, the Irish defence minister - in truth probably more worried about the future of a "peace process" nearer home - heard the distant rumble of artillery. Israel's war with the Hizbollah is an obsession for more than the participants.
From above the cumulus cloud came the whisper of jets, but along the narrow road from Jebel Amal to Shakra snaked a far more sinister premonition of war; the funeral of a Hizbollah "martyr" who died in his home in Shakra on Saturday night while preparing a roadside bomb for Israeli occupation troops. "He died on duty," was all the Hizbollah would say about their latest casualty, unwilling to admit that his technical abilities did not match his enthusiasm for guerrilla warfare.
Hassan Atwi was preparing a land-mine when it blew up in his face; he was the third member of his large family to die in the conflict in southern Lebanon, and he was buried in the presence of the Hizbollah commander in southern Lebanon and numerous bearded men who had escorted his corpse to the village cemetery. If his death proved that "resistance" runs in the family, it was also evidence that the Hizbollah intends to continue its assaults on Israel's army inside Lebanon.
On Friday, Major-General Amiram Levin, the Israeli northern commander, visited settlements along the Lebanese border, to be told by their inhabitants that they were ready for Hizbollah retaliation if Israel chose to attack the guerrilla force. But according to local security sources, General Amnon Shahak, the Israeli chief of staff, is restraining officers who want to strike into Lebanon to avenge the bombings in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, not least because the Hizbollah was not responsible for them. The artillery fire yesterday - between Israelis and the Hizbollah in the Iqlim al-Kharoub district far to the north of Tibnin - showed just how narrow are those margins in southern Lebanon between restraint and war.
- 1 National Orgasm Day: Six reasons (plus one bogus one) why they're good for us
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
- 4 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 5 Doctor Who: Christopher Eccleston says why he left the BBC series after just one series
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Stuart Baggs dies: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...
£15500 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has become available...
£60000 - £120000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This conference call startup i...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital and print design a...