TEL AVIV (Jul. 10)
Israeli officials, facing complaints from abroad that Israel is compromising the possible release of Western hostages held by Moslem fundamentalist groups in Lebanon, offered justification for its recent spate of air raids on strongholds of Hezbollah.
Defense Minister Moshe Arens claimed Monday on Israel Radio that the Israel Defense Force had intelligence reports indicating that terrorists were planning hang-glider attacks on Israel.
Other defense sources stressed that the air attacks and other counter-terrorist measures were in Israel’s vital security interests.
They argued that the IDF cannot halt its attacks even in the face of outside concern that the raids endanger negotiations for the release of hostages.
Hezbollah, whose name translates as Party of God, is believed to be an umbrella for various factions holding hostages.
The Israeli air force attacked one of its bases in Jarjua village in southern Lebanon on Sunday and followed up with another raid on Hezbollah installations near a-Lueiz village, 25 miles south of Beirut on Monday.