Israeli Army Opens Fire in Southern Lebanon

Published December 9th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The Israeli army opened heavy machinegun fire in a contested border area in southern Lebanon on Sunday, without causing casualties, Lebanese police said. 

The shots were fired from the Ramta and Fashkoul hilltop positions in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms towards the Bastara farm on the other side of the border fence, they said. 

Two Israeli helicopters hovered over the border area as a reconnaissance plane overflew the sector, they said. 

There were no reports of guerrilla activity prior to the Israeli shots and overflights. 

On November 25, the Israeli army also opened up with machine-gun fire from the Shebaa Farms towards the Kfar Shuba village and nearby Bastara Farms, without inflicting casualties. 

Since its withdrawal from south Lebanon in May 2000 after 22 years of occupation, Israel's military, notably the air force, has regularly violated a "Blue Line" drawn up by the United Nations to demarcate the border. 

Israel continues to occupy the Shebaa Farms, a mountainous region on the Lebanese-Syrian borders seized by the Jewish state from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and claimed by Beirut. 

The Lebanese Shiite radical movement Hezbollah spearheads a guerrilla warfare to demand an Israeli withdrawal from the Shebaa Farms. The group was instrumental in forcing Israel's 2000 pullout from southern -- Lebanon (AFP)

© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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