TEL AVIV (Mar. 20)
The Israel Defense Force, beset in recent days by infiltrations of its southern and eastern borders, demonstrated Monday that it is not neglecting its vigilance against terrorism from the north.
IDF planes attacked terrorist targets in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, striking bases of Ahmed Jabril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, northeast of Zahleh.
The Israeli army spokesman reported that all planes returned safely to their base, despite antiaircraft fire directed at them from Syrian and terrorist positions.
According to reports from Beirut, five people were killed and 15 injured in the attack. Other sources said as many as 15 were killed in the attack.
Jabril’s group is a rejectionist offshoot of the Palestine Liberation Organization allied with Syria and strongly opposed to Yasir Arafat’s leadership of the PLO and his recent conciliatory stands.
The group is suspected as being the party responsible for blowing up Pan American World Airways Flight 103, in which 270 people were killed last December in Scotland.
News reports described Monday’s attack by Israel as an act of retaliation for recent terrorist assaults on Israel and quoted Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin as saying he believed that “those who deserved to get it got it.”