Hizbollah Trade Fire with Israeli Forces

Published May 8th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Lebanese Resistance staged Monday a series of attacks against the Israeli-occupied border zone in southern Lebanon, triggering Israeli retaliatory shelling, security sources said. 

The Lebanese Brigades for the Resistance Against the Israeli Occupation said in a statement that their fighters attacked positions of the Israeli troops and their allied South Lebanon Army (SLA) militia in the border zone. 

The guerrilla group, created by the Shiite Muslim Hizbollah, said it struck two Israeli posts in Shamaa and Blat and an SLA position in Hardon -- all three in the western sector of the occupied border zone. 

Security sources said 13 Katyusha rockets were launched on the Blat post and 10 mortar rounds were fired on both Shamaa and Hardon positions. 

The Islamic Resistance, Hizbollah's military wing, said in a statement that its guerrillas attacked an Israeli army post in Houla in the central sector of the enclave. 

Israeli artillery retaliated by pounding the outskirts of the villages of Majdal Zoun and Zebqine - on the other side of the border area - with more than 40 shells, security sources said. 

On Sunday, an SLA militiaman was killed in a Hizbollah attack against his position on the edge of the central sector of the enclave. 

The fatality brought to 21 the number of SLA members killed since the beginning of the year, according to a count by AFP. Forty other SLA members have been hurt in attacks, mostly by Hizbollah. 




In the meanwhile, Israeli army soldiers began Monday maintenance works on electronic devices on the fence along the border with Lebanon, an AFP correspondent on the scene reported. 

Army teams were deployed in small groups with pick-up trucks to carry out works on the electronic devices meant to prevent guerrilla infiltration attempts, ahead of Israel's planned pullout from southern Lebanon by July 7, the correspondent said. 

On April 30, the public Israel Radio said construction of a new fence began on Israeli soil near Metulla in the Galilee panhandle. It will replace 45 kilometers (27 miles) - out of a total borderline of 150 kilometers - which was put up on Lebanese soil "for operational reasons". 

In northern Israel, authorities have recently started building bunkers, widening roads, laying communications and erecting steel nets designed to catch incoming mortar shells and missiles. 




The Israeli-run South Lebanon Army (SLA) closed one of its posts in the occupied south overnight, an SLA source said on Monday.  

The SLA gave no reason for closing Shayyar Azour post in the eastern sector of Israel's south Lebanon occupation zone Lebanon.  

The SLA source said the measure was probably taken because the post was on the edge of the zone. ''Sending backup to that post in the event of a guerrilla attack used to take a long time.''  

There are about 30 SLA posts and 10 Israeli ones guarding the 15 km (nine miles) deep zone – (Agencies)  



© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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