TEL AVIV (Aug. 25)
Israeli air force planes attacked terrorist targets near the Ein Hilweh and Mieh Mieh camps south of Sidon Thursday afternoon, 24 hours after five Hezbollah gunmen were killed in a clash just north of Israel’s security zone in south Lebanon.
In Thursday’s attack, reports from the area said three attack helicopters had raided targets in the area, causing damage to buildings housing Palestinian militia units. The number of casualties were not immediately known. It was the ninth air raid on targets in Lebanon in 1988.
In Wednesday’s action, six Israel Defense Force soldiers were very lightly wounded in the confrontation. Five of them returned immediately to their unit after being bandaged by a field medic, while the sixth was taken to the Rambam Hospital in Haifa for further treatment.
The clash occurred when an IDF paratrooper patrol was sweeping difficult terrain a few kilometers from Kakabeh village, in what the IDF spokesman described as an “initiated action” similar to other actions taken in the past few months.
The purpose of the actions is to identify and destroy terrorist bases just north of the security zone, in a region known to be controlled by the radical Iranian-backed Hezbollah, and used as an operational center against IDF and South Lebanon Army targets inside the zone.
The IDF patrol spotted the terrorist gang, killing all five as the six Israelis were wounded. As the IDF troops withdrew, they came under heavy artillery and mortar fire, which was promptly returned by Israeli artillerymen supported by helicopter gunships.
Commanding officer of the northern region, Maj. Gen. Yossi Peled, met later with members of the paratroop unit and congratulated them on the exemplary manner in which they had conducted themselves and discharged their mission.