TEL AVIV (Jul. 7)
Israeli land, sea and air forces struck at terrorist targets along the southern Lebanese coastal strip in a series of raids today that began shortly after midnight and continued until dawn, All Israeli forces returned safely to their bases after destroying numerous terrorist buildings, boats and vehicles and inflicting an undisclosed number of casualties on the terrorists.
Several Israeli units engaged terrorists in close range fire-fights and others came under terrorist artillery fire which was silenced by Israeli artillery. No Israeli casualties were reported in any of the encounters.
The Israeli raids, which concentrated on the region north and south of Tyre and on the big Rashidiyeh refugee camp, were apparently carried out in retaliation for Friday’s terrorist bombing in Jerusalem that claimed the lives of 13 Jews and Arabs. The terrorists struck back during the forenoon hours this morning with volleys of Katyusha rocket fire aimed at Safad, some 12 miles from the Lebanese border, Kibbutz I’ Ron and the coastal city of Nahariya. No casualties or damage was reported.
Most of the rockets exploded in open fields. The Rosh Haniqra border post on the Israel-Lebanon border was closed down today and no one, including United Nations observers, was permitted to cross, Shooting was heard in southern Lebanon long after Israeli forces had departed, apparently between terrorists and Lebanese army regulars.
2-PRONGED ASSAULT LAUNCHED
According to an army spokesman, Israeli infantry units crossed into Lebanon shortly after midnight and at about the same time, Israeli commandos were landed on Lebanese beaches north and south of Tyre by naval craft which shelled terrorist targets ashore, Israel Air Force planes flew over the target areas dropping flares and later strafed terrorist strongholds as Israeli infantry patrols systematically demolished terrorist command posts and buildings.
The Israeli forces attacked three targets in Tyre, two to the south of it and two to the north. Houses were demolished on the fringes of the Rashidiyeh camp and boats were destroyed in the Rashidiyeh anchorage, a jumping-off place for terrorist sea-borne assaults on Israel, Large fires were seen in the camp. A Lebanese communique this morning confirmed the attack but gave no details of damage or casualties. The terrorist radio station in Beirut reported a fire in the Rashidiyeh camp and said four terrorists were killed.
Police and border patrols were strengthened in northern Israel today in anticipation of possible terrorist attempts at sabotage in civilian centers. Tightened security was maintained on the Jordan River bridges across which, it is believed, “summer visitors” smuggled the explosives used in Friday’s bombing.