Tel Aviv (Jul. 16)
The Israel Air Force carried out its heaviest attacks in recent years on Palestinian bases in Lebanon today. According to a military spokesman five bridges spanning the Litani and Zaharani rivers were destroyed as were the regional headquarters of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Arab Liberation Front, terrorist groups based in the Damour and Sidon areas.
Beirut radio broadcasts today confirmed that the bridges were completely demolished and extensive damage was sustained by the Palestinian bases.
Today’s air raids, unlike the preemptive attacks Israel has been carrying out on a regular basis for many months, was in direct retaliation for yesterday’s barrage of Katyusha rocket fire that killed three people in Nahariya and wounded 25 others there and in Kiryat Shemona. A military spokesman said the bridges destroyed had been used by terrorists to carry equipment toward the Israeli border. He said all planes returned safely to their bases.
A Beirut radio report said the Israeli planes released balloons to draw off SAM-7 anti-aircraft missile fire. The Beirut reports also said Israeli artillery heavily shelled Palestinian troop concentrations in south Lebanon during the day.