Hizbollah Attacks Israeli Positions in Southern Lebanon
The Hizbollah movement said Sunday it had attacked positions held by the Israeli army and its proxy South Lebanon Army (SLA) in the Israeli-occupied zone of southern Lebanon, which Israel said the same day it won’t disarm until safety is guaranteed for its members.
The group said in a statement seen by AFP that it had "targeted and hit" the Israeli position at Zaaleh and other SLA positions in the eastern part of the zone.
The operations were carried out at 6 a.m. (0300 GMT).
An SLA spokesman said there had been no casualties.
Israel responded to the attacks with shelling and air raids, the Lebanese police said.
An Israeli army spokesman in Jerusalem confirmed the raids, and said all its planes had returned safely to base.
In occupied Jerusalem earlier Sunday, Israel said it refuses to disarm its allied militia without first obtaining guarantees for the security of its members.
"SLA members will keep the means to defend themselves while there is no amnesty from the Lebanese government and while they have to live in close proximity to the Hizbollah," Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said on army radio.
He conceded that the SLA was going through a difficult period "because no-one knows 100 percent what will happen after July," the target date for an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.
The SLA and Israeli troops jointly patrol a self-declared "security zone" with the aim of protecting Israel's northern border from attack by Lebanese Shiite guerrillas, mainly the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hizbollah – (AFP)
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