Sunday, May 28, 2006

Lebanese government cries Uncle

I feel for the Lebanese people. I really do, but if the government of Lebanon does not take decisive steps once and for all to disarm the terrorist groups operating in southern Lebanon it will only be a matter of time before the Palestinian cause will once again lead the Israeli’s to have no choice but to launch air strikes on downtown Beirut, again.

The Jersualem Post carries this account of today’s action:
The clashes followed a surprise launching of at least six Katyusha rockets before dawn at an IAF air traffic control base on Mount Meron. These were the first rockets to hit so deep inside Israel - some 10 kilometers from the border. At least three of the 122mm rockets reportedly fell in a residential area of the base and damaged a building. One soldier was lightly wounded and treated for shock. A Channel 1 reporter speculated that the accuracy of the attack on the IAF base of the notoriously inaccurate Katyushas could be due to a new satellite-controlled guidance system.

After the Katyushas hit the Mount Meron base, IAF jets struck twice into Lebanese territory - the first on the general headquarters of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command in Sultan Yacoub, a village about five kilometers from the Syrian border, and the second on a base at the village of Nueima, some eight kilometers south of Beirut.

One of the targets that was hit by the jets was a storage facility for arms and ammunition, the IDF said. At least one PFLP member was killed and five other members wounded in the attack near Sultan Yacoub, while at least one person was lightly wounded at the Nueima base, according to Israel Radio. "Israel attacked this morning one of our positions in the western sector of the (eastern) Bekaa Valley. There are damages but for now it is difficult to know how much," Anwar Raja, the PFLP-GC representative in Lebanon, told AP.

The afternoon clashes began when a Hizbullah sniper shot and moderately wounded a soldier near Kibbutz Manara on the northern border, OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Udi Adam told reporters at a briefing at Northern Command headquarters. Troops returned fire and gun battle erupted across the length of the Israel-Lebanon border. Citizens were ordered into bomb shelters as Hizbullah units unleashed a barrage of gunfire, mortars, and Katyusha rockets at northern communities and military installations.

IDF artillery and IAF attack helicopters retaliated, striking 20 different Hizbullah targets in southern Lebanon, including outposts and two cars from which rockets had been fired. The cars sustained direct hits and Hizbullah operatives were apparently killed. Senior officers said this was Israel's harshest response since the IDF pullout from southern Lebanon in 2000. The wounded soldier, from an anti-aircraft unit, was shot through the stomach. He was airlifted to Rambam Hospital in Haifa in stable condition, which later worsened to serious condition. Lebanese officials said one Hizbullah terrorist was killed in the clashes. At 5:00 pm, the Lebanese government pleaded for a cease-fire, through UN channels, which Israel accepted.
Interestingly enough, I did search for this story at the Toronto Star and found nothing. I guess an all day attack launched from Lebanon into Israel is deemed not newsworthy enough when there is an ode to Fidel to be published. Who knows? Maybe tomorrow will be a slow enough news day so the Toronto Star will finally be able to find the space to cover that story.

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