Israeli killed by Hizb Allah shelling

An anti-aircraft shell fired by Hizb Allah guerrillas in Lebanon slammed into northern Israel, killing one person and wounding four others, military sources said.

    Shattered - A local resident reflects over the first Israeli death in Hizb Allah action since the IDF withdrew three years ago

    Sunday's death was the first in Israel from Hizb Allah fire since

    Israeli forces withdrew from south Lebanon three years ago and

    raised the prospect of Israeli retaliation against the group,

    its Syrian ally or Lebanon.

    The sources said Hizb Allah fired anti-aircraft shells, which

    fell on the town of Shlomi, two days after the guerrilla group

    launched anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs at Israeli army

    posts on the border for the first time in seven months.

    "An air defence unit of the Islamic resistance

    confronted ... Zionist enemy planes that violated Lebanese

    sovereignty over the western sector of south Lebanon," Hizb Allah

    said in a faxed statement.

    "Hizb Allah is playing

    with fire."

    Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Zeev Boim

    Hizb Allah has been firing anti-aircraft shells sporadically

    in recent weeks in response to what it said were Israeli

    overflights of south Lebanon.

    Some of the shells have hit Israeli communities, causing

    damage but no serious casualties.

    Renewed hostilities

    "It's provocation by Hizb Allah ... they are not shooting

    anti-aircraft fire but fire against people. Hizb Allah is playing

    with fire," Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Zeev Boim told Army

    Radio after Sunday's incident.

    "We have no desire to open a new front ... but we cannot agree

    to our people in the north being hurt."

    Israel lodged a complaint with the United Nations after

    Friday's attack at Shebaa Farms, an area Hizb Allah regards as

    Lebanese territory and the United Nations has declared

    Israeli-occupied Syrian land.

    Israeli ambassador Dan Gillerman warned Syria and Lebanon in

    a letter submitted to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that

    Israel would have "no option but to take the necessary measures

    to protect its citizens" unless they restrained Hizb Allah.

    Hizb Allah said it launched Friday's attack in response to a

    car bombing, which the group blamed on Israel, that killed a

    Hizb Allah official in Beirut last week.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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