Israel's big guns take revenge on Lebanon

BY DUSK last night, the Israelis had wounded five Lebanese civilians in revenge for the pro-Iranian Hizbollah's killing of five Israeli occupation troops in southern Lebanon on Sunday. But a bombardment by sixteen 155mm howitzers, crewed by 500 extra Israeli troops, went on throughout the evening across Lebanon, after Israeli officials at the peace talks in Washington had warned Syria it should 'control' its militia allies in the south of the country.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, said yesterday that Israel would capture the guerrillas who killed the troops. In one hour, Israeli artillery batteries fired 200 shells into the lower Bekaa valley while Israeli helicopter gunships attacked two villages in which Hizbollah hold positions. The shelling was nothing like as fierce as the Israeli bombardment which followed Israel's assassination of Sheik Abbas Moussawi, the Hizbollah leader, in February. Although reports that the Israeli retaliation was the most powerful in years were untrue, it was certainly part of a deadly and familiar story.

The Israeli army said yesterday that Israeli gunboats attacked a Palestinian refugee camp in north Lebanon last night. The Israelis also said yesterday that, following Sunday's killings, they would find a way to stop the offensive against their occupation troops. But they invaded Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 to prevent guerrilla attacks on their occupation forces and against their northern border - all to no avail.

In fact, Israel has been retaliating against its enemies in southern Lebanon for 24 years without any obvious military effect. It has launched thousands of air strikes against Palestinians and later Hizbollah without driving them from the south. Palestinian and later Hizbollah militiamen have fired thousands of shells into northern Israel and staged hundreds of attacks on Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon without achieving any Israeli withdrawal.

Hizbollah and Israel's Lebanese militia, the 'South Lebanon Army', have fought each other across southern Lebanon for at least seven years, each encouraged respectively by Syria and Israel. Syria says it has influence but not control over the Hizbollah - which is precisely what Israel says of the SLA when its own proxy gunmen kill or wound United Nations soldiers. Ruthless though Sunday's Hizbollah attack on the Israeli patrol evidently was - and there can be no doubt that Syria approves of such assaults - it remains an act of resistance by Lebanese citizens on foreign troops occupying their country, a practice which has never been condemned in international law.

Not that such legalities would be of much interest to Hizbollah. Eight members have been elected to the new Lebanese parliament, but with most of its forces in action against the Israelis' occupation zone, Hizbollah is the only group in Lebanon with an active political and military wing. The violence may also have been timed to embarrass the new Lebanese prime minister, Rafiq Hariri.

WASHINGTON - Israel and Lebanon clashed in peace talks yesterday over the fighting in south Lebanon. The chief Israeli delegate, Uri Lubrani, said the Muslim fundamentalists who killed the Israeli soldiers were trying to wreck the peace process, Reuter reports.

Suggested Topics
Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
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
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior DBA (SQL Server, T-SQL, SSIS, SSAS) London - Finance

£30000 - £33000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior DBA (SQ...

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

Senior Project Manager

£60000 - £90000 per annum + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Global leading Energy Tra...

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment