Israeli Jets Attack Terrorist Bases in Southern Lebanon; Gur Says Cease-fire Should Be Kept

Israeli jets attacked terrorist bases, encampments and training centers in southwestern Lebanon this morning and returned safely to their bases. The air strike, the first in Lebanon in two years, was announced by Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur. He said it was ordered in retaliation for the terrorist rocket attacks on Nahariya that claimed three lives, injured five and did extensive damage earlier in the week.

Gur said the aircraft were in action between 7:35-8:40 a.m. local time and carried out their attacks on terrorist targets in a coastal strip ten kilometers wide extending from the town of Tyre to the Israeli border. He insisted that the targets were not places inhabited by civilians and that there were no known Lebanese or Syrian army units in their vicinity. Reports from Beirut today claimed the Israeli planes had bombed civilians in refugee camps.

The air attack followed heavy shelling of terrorist targets by Israeli artillery last night. Gur said the rocket attacks on Nahariya indicated that the terrorists have resumed their warfare against Israeli civilians. He said Israel wanted to preserve the cease-fire in southern Lebanon and called on Syrian forces there to put a stop to terrorist activity. The Chief of Staff said the terrorist rocket attacks could not have been launched without the knowledge of the Syrians. Gur stressed that no Israeli ground or noval forces were involved in the retaliatory action.

BEGIN WARNS TERRORISTS

Last night, Premier Menachem Begin declared that the days are over “when terrorists of the so-called PLO can launch deadly assaults upon us and we stand idly by.” Addressing the 10th anniversary dinner of the Variety Club of Israel in Jerusalem, he accused the Soviet Union of supplying the PLO with “sophisticated weapons with which to kill innocent men, women and children.” But he said Israel had no interest in escalating the situation on the Lebanese border and urged that the cease-fire be maintained. Yesterday, the Variety Club laid the cornerstone of a $5 million child and family development and rehabilitation center in Jerusalem.

NEXT STORY