TEL AVIV (Jul. 16)
Israel’s long, costly invasion of Lebanon did not diminish terrorism and “unfortunately, we are faced with problems of terrorism which are not less than those before the war began in Lebanon,” Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin said Wednesday. But Galilee is more secure, he said.
Rabin spoke during a visit to Israeli soldiers wounded last week in clashes with terrorists in the south Lebanon security zone. He said the Israel Defense Force is fighting terrorists in accordance with government decisions. “At this stage, I believe we are achieving the main goal — security in the Galilee,” he said.
“The proof is that during a period of more than 12 months, not one Israeli citizen has been killed due to terrorist activity in Lebanon, although several have been wounded, “Rabin said. He added however that “this cost the IDF a painful price, but far less than during the three preceding years.”
He denied reports of recent Katyusha rocket attacks on Israel. “No Katyusha shelling has hit Israeli territory in the last 24 hours. In the past there has been shelling, and we do indeed live with a certain reality,” he added.
Asked if last week’s attempted terrorist landing in Israel by sea signified an escalation, Rabin said, “First of all, there have been attempts in the past, whether by land or sea.” He praised the IDF and the Navy.” The commanders on the spot showed responsibility, initiative, daring, courage and understanding that their goal was to prevent any attempts by terrorists to penetrate and carry out their murderous intentions,” Rabin said.