The Lebanese Resistance party Hizbullah launched Wednesday afternoon heavy anti-aircraft, anti-tank fire on Israeli outposts at the Shebaa Farms. No casualties reported.
Lebanese sources and witnesses said Hizbullah fired mortar rounds and Israeli troops responded with shelling near the Lebanese village of Kfar Shouba. Additionally, Israeli warplanes attacked Hizbullah's positions in the area.
Lebanese security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the fighters of Hizbullah shelled three Israeli positions, and that Israel had fired artillery shells at a valley near the Lebanese village of Halta, close to the Shaaba Farms area on Lebanon's border with the occupied Golan Heights.
It was the first Hizbullah attack on the area since October 2001.
Earlier, Hizbullah anti-aircraft units targeted an Israeli pilotless surveillance plane flying along the Israeli Lebanese border. The anti-aircraft fire was aimed at the plane as it flew over Kibbutz Manara, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The plane was not hit and there was no evidence falling shrapnel caused any damage within Israel, Israel Radio reported.
Israeli Defence Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer described Hizbullah’s Wednesday assault as "very dangerous" and said Iran and Syria had given the Lebanese party the green light, his spokesman told AFP.
Over the past several weeks, Hizbullah has been preparing the Lebanese public and media for a renewed military confrontation with Israel.
"The decision of the Islamic Resistance is that the Lebanese-Palestinian (Israel) borders should remain a cause of anxiety and pain for the Zionist enemy," Hizbullah's leader in south Lebanon, Sheikh Nabil Kaouk told last week a group of Muslim clerics who toured the region.
The US is increasing pressure on Hizbullah. According to a recently published report in Al Hayat daily, Washington has placed the Lebanese Resistance second on its list of terrorist organizations after Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.
Additionally, the US is pressuring the Lebanese and Syrian leaderships to curb Hizbullah, which is allegedly involved in “terrorist” activities abroad, apart from its attacks on Israel.
Since October 2000, Israeli warplanes have been violating Lebanese airspace, despite U.N. protests. The Israeli planes are breaking the sound barrier over Lebanon’s main cities. Over the past year, the Lebanese President Emile Lahoud denounced these Israeli flights and described them as “acts of war.” (Albawaba.com)
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