TEL AVIV (Mar. 2)
Four Palestinian terrorists were killed by a paratroop patrol in the southern Lebanon security zone Wednesday night while trying “to enter Israel and seize and kill Israelis,” an Israel Defense Force spokesman said Thursday.
According to the spokesman, the nature of their mission, which occurred four miles from the Israeli border settlement of Adamit, was clearly stated in leaflets found on the bodies.
“We hold our weapons high, to carry on the just armed struggle of our people being carried on under the leadership of the PLO,” the spokesman quoted from the leaflets.
The four men killed were members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a PLO splinter faction led by Nayef Hawatmeh. One infiltrator escaped, and there were no Israeli casualties.
A spokesman for Hawatmeh’s group in Lebanon confirmed the clash and the casualties sustained.
It was the second foiled infiltration attempt by the Democratic Front in a week. Three guerrillas were killed by the Israeli-backed South Lebanese Army on Feb. 23 as they were on their way to attack targets inside Israel.
The scene was visited Wednesday by Maj.Gen. Yossi Peled, commander of the northern region. Peled said several terrorist groups linked to the Palestine Liberation Organization have been intercepted and destroyed since PLO leader Yasir Arafat renounced terrorism last year.