TEL AVIV (Nov. 7)
The Israeli backed South Lebanon Army claims it killed three Palestinian terrorists Sunday in what appeared to be a botched attempt to infiltrate Israel by sea.
In an apparently unrelated incident, Israeli helicopter gunships destroyed a boat rental shop Sunday afternoon, near the southern Lebanese port of Sidon.
The shop was suspected of links to the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Israel Defense Force said the helicopter target had been used as a weapons storage and a base for launching attacks on Israel.
Reports from Sidon said five people were wounded when four Israeli air force Cobra attack helicopters blasted the building and a nearby citrus grove with eight wire-guided rockets, shortly after 4 p.m. local time.
Lebanese police said the shopkeeper, Mahmoud Hijazi, was suspected of renting two motorboats to the PLO and selling them spare parts.
The police said the boats were used to smuggle arms to PLO fighters in the Rashidiya refugee camp, near Tyre, which has been attacked periodically by Amal, the mainstream Shiite militia.
In the infiltration incident, three armed terrorists dressed in wet suits landed from a rubber dinghy on a beach at the western end of the southern Lebanese security zone, about a half mile from the Israel border.
One of them was spotted by an SLA patrol while trying to fire a rocket-propelled grenade. He was killed.
The other two were killed after taking cover behind rocks, the SLA said. They were carrying two Kalachnikov assault rifles, ammunition and RPGs. There were no SLA casualties.
According to the SLA, the Palestinians apparently set out from a refugee camp near Sidon. They intended to land in Israel, but fell short of their goal because of faulty navigation.
No organization has claimed responsibility for the failed infiltration attempt.