TEL AVIV (Aug. 31)
Villagers in southern Lebanon have asked for the Israeli army’s protection after fighting off a terrorist attack on Ein Ebel village yesterday. Four terrorists and three villagers were killed. A fourth villager, a youth of 17, was wounded and brought to the government hospital in Safad for treatment.
Ein Ebel, a Maronite Christian village, is located near the Israeli border five kilometers north of Dovev. The latter town is the site of an Israeli medical station set up to treat sick and injured Lebanese who cross the border because they are unable to obtain medical attention in their own war-town country.
The terrorist attack on Ein Ebel was believed to have been a reprisal for the local villagers’ growing contacts with Israel for medical purposes and trade. According to the account of the wounded youth, the terrorists opened fire when their armored car was stopped at a road block outside Ein Ebel and the villagers asked for identification. Three villagers were fatally wounded in the first volley but others, organized in a local militia, gunned down the terrorists.
The wounded were taken to the border fence at Dovev, apparently in the hope that they could be saved. They were pronounced dead and transferred to an Israeli morgue. The bodies were returned to Lebanon today. A Maronite priest conducted services at the border fence.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army was put on alert following reports that terrorists were planning further reprisal attacks on villages in southern Lebanon. Yesterday’s shooting was the second terrorist incident in two days. Defense Minister Shimon Peres disclosed that on Sunday, Lebanese villagers dismantled two rocket launchers set up by terrorists and aimed at Israel. He said this indicated that the Lebanese were anxious to keep the border region quiet.