Israel attacks Hizb Allah positions

Israeli aircraft and artillery have pounded suspected Hizb Allah positions in south Lebanon after fighters attacked an Israeli military post in the border Shebaa Farms area, wounding one soldier.

    Israel confirmed aircraft and artillery strikes in south Lebanon

    Hizb Allah said Friday's attack with rockets and mortar bombs on the Rwaisat al-Alam position was in retaliation to the killing of a Lebanese shepherd earlier in the week by Israeli soldiers deployed at the post.


    Israel confirmed the strike and held the Lebanese government responsible for the Hizb Allah attack.


    Avital Leibowich, the Israeli army spokeswoman, said: "We see this attack as a very serious provocation from the Hizb Allah terror organisation which is working under the auspices of Lebanon.


    "The State of Israel holds the Lebanese government responsible for any terror attack emanating from its territory."


    A UN peacekeeping source in south Lebanon said the 90-minute exchanges stopped after a ceasefire was arranged following contacts with both sides.


    "We see this attack as a very serious provocation from the Hizb Allah terror organisation which is working under the auspices of Lebanon"

    Avital Leibowich,
    Israeli army spokeswoman

    Witnesses in Lebanon said Hizb Allah fired salvoes of rockets and mortar bombs into the position and smoke was seen rising from its fortifications.


    Shortly afterwards Israeli jets launched four strikes on targets near the villages of Kfar Shouba and Habbariyeh on the Lebanese side of the border while Israeli artillery pounded the area, they said.


    The Israeli military said one soldier was slightly wounded.


    A Lebanese woman was also slightly wounded by the air strikes, according to a Reuters witness.


    Retaliatory attack


    Hizb Allah said in a statement that it had attacked to retaliate for Wednesday's killing of the shepherd by Israeli soldiers at the Rwaisat al-Alam post.


    Leibowich said the slain man was trying to infiltrate across the border and had fired at Israeli troops.


    The UN and Israel say the Shebaa
    Farms area is Syrian land

    Lebanon and UN peacekeepers said on Thursday that Israeli troops had killed the 17-year-old shepherd inside Lebanon and Hassan Nasrallah, Hizb Allah's leader had vowed retaliation.


    Shia Muslim Hizb Allah fighters have periodically attacked Israeli forces on the border, mainly in the Shebaa Farms which Israeli troops still control, since Israel ended its 22-year occupation of south Lebanon in 2000.


    Lebanon says Shebaa is Lebanese. The United Nations and Israel say it is Syrian land.


    Hizb Allah says its attacks are retaliation for Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty, including almost daily flights over Lebanon by Israeli jets.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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