Israeli Planes Raid Guerrilla Bases
Nov. 28, 1998
NABATIYEH, Lebanon (AP) _ Israeli warplanes today raided suspected guerrilla bases in southern Lebanon, a day after two Israelis were killed in a guerrilla roadside bombing.
Israeli jets fired two air-to-surface missiles on the hills between the villages of Siddiqine and Jebal al-Butom, 17 miles southwest of this southern market town.
There were no immediate reports of casualties from the early morning attack, said Lebanese officials who spoke on customary condition of anonymity.
The missile attack occurred hours after an ambush by Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas on Israeli soldiers who were trying to retrieve a disabled military vehicle near the Lebanon-Israel border, the Shiite Muslim guerrilla group Hezbollah said in a statement. It did not mention any casualties.
There was no independent confirmation of the ambush, which Hezbollah said took place just before midnight.
On Friday, two Israeli soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing claimed by Hezbollah guerrillas near the Lebanese-Israeli border. Two Israeli soldiers also were killed Wednesday.
The casualties raised to seven the number of Israeli soldiers killed in southern Lebanon in 10 days.
Hezbollah guerrillas are fighting to oust Israeli troops and their allied Lebanese militiamen from the zone Israel set up in 1985 to protect its northern territories from cross-border guerrilla attacks.
In light of the casualties, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a trip to Europe and returned home for a meeting scheduled for Sunday to review the Lebanon policy with Cabinet ministers and army generals.
Netanyahu, however, has said he would only pull Israeli troops out of southern Lebanon if this did not expose northern Israel to attacks by Hezbollah. Neither Hezbollah nor the Lebanese government is willing to give such a guarantee.
``We will not act as border police for Israel and will not give (it) security guarantees,'' Ammar Musawi, a Hezbollah representative in Parliament, said in an interview broadcast today.
Musawi also threatened to hit back at Israel if it strikes at Lebanese infrastructure in retaliation to guerrilla attacks.
``The resistance will not stand idle if the infrastructure and civilians are targeted,'' he told the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation television.
On Friday, Avigdor Kahalani, the Israeli public security minister, had called on Israel to attack Beirut and knock out electricity and water services there.