Israeli Shelling Damages Mosque, Home in Southern Lebanon
Shelling from the Israeli-occupied zone of southern Lebanon damaged a mosque and a house near the port city of Tyre early Monday, police said.
Two shells struck the Haddatha mosque and a neighboring house, the police said, adding that there were no casualties.
The police said some 20 shells in all were fired at areas on the edge of the western sector of the occupied zone, following attacks on two Israeli positions, Blatt and Shamaa, which were claimed by the Hizbollah movement.
In northern Israel a military source said an Israeli army post in south Lebanon and four positions of the allied South Lebanon Army (SLA) militia came under mortar attack early Monday.
There were no reports of casualties in the attack.
Lebanese Resistance fighting the Israeli occupation and Israeli forces have exchanged fire over the past few days in an upsurge of violence in the border zone.
ISRAELI ARMY CHIEF RULES OUT MILITARY CLASH WITH SYRIA AFTER LEBANON PULLOUT
Israel's army chief of staff Shaul Mofaz said Monday there was little chance that the planned pullout from south Lebanon would unleash a military confrontation with Syria, but warned of harsh reprisals if its territory came under guerrilla attack.
"There is no question who is the strongest and it is not in the Syrians' interest to provoke a military confrontation after our withdrawal from Lebanon," Mofaz told army radio.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak's government has committed itself to ending its 22-year occupation of south Lebanon by July, with or without a peace accord with Syria.
Mofaz nevertheless warned that he would back massive reprisals if Israeli territory came under attack after the pullout from Lebanese Resistance fighters, notably Hizbollah.
"In this case, I would recommend to use all our might and to react more forcefully than we did in June 1999," he said.
Mofaz was referring to deadly air strikes against Lebanese civilian targets in June in retaliation for attacks by Hizbollah. Israel launched similar attacks on power stations in Lebanon in February after the Islamic group killed several of its soldiers in the buffer zone they occupy in south Lebanon – (AFP)
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