TEL AVIV (Feb. 21)
The Israeli Defense Force today continued its searches of Lebanese Shiite Moslem villages in the area east of Tyre where there have been a rising number of attacks against Israeli soldiers recently.
Meanwhile, inside Israel, two Katyusha rockets or mortar shells were lobbed into the Golan Heights last night. They fell near a settlement in the southern part of the Heights, apparently fired from a point near where the Israeli-Syrian and Jordanian borders meet. There was no damage.
Military sources said a Syrian village near the border was known to be under the control of Palestinians, and while they said Syria was responsible for maintaining order in the village, the terrorists may have adopted the habit of slipping across the Jordan border to fire their missiles from there and then returning home, so that Damascus could disclaim responsibility.
According to United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) spokesmen, the Israeli searches today were carried out in the villages of Deir Khaneoun, A-Nahar, Bittar and Deir Taba. Male villagers were ordered into the village square or school-yards, where they were searched and questioned. Searches were carried out in houses and community centers and mosques, as both the latter have previously been used for storing arms. The Israeli army spokesman said that one man was killed and two wounded when they tried to escape from one of the villages being searched. During the operations, 13 houses in which arms caches were found were destroyed.
The curfew on Arab Selim village continued today for the third day, while South Lebanon Army (SLA) troops continued to carry out an intensive search.
COOPERATIVE LEBANESE ALLOWED TO SETTLE IN ISRAEL
Meanwhile, a number of Lebanese who have cooperated with the IDF have been permitted to enter Israel and settle here. They were afraid of reprisals in the wake of the withdrawing Israelis. In the past year some 60 collaborators have been murdered, 20 of them in Sidon, where assassinations have increased since last Saturday’s pullback.
Lebanese who have cooperated with the IDF are being informed in advance of each local with drawal, to give them time to make their arrangements.
Likud-Herut Knesset member Uzi Landau told the Knesset yesterday that Israel had a “moral obligation” to stand behind its friends and those who support its position. His motion for aid to such people is to be discussed by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.