TEL AVIV (Mar. 5)
Several Katyusha rockets were fired into Israel from southern Lebanon before dawn Tuesday, causing no casualties or damage, Israeli sources said.
The rockets were fired from beyond the southern Lebanon security zone that Israel has maintained since 1985 as a buffer against terrorist infiltration. They landed in the narrow Upper Galilee panhandle.
The rockets were the first to land in Israel since the Palestine Liberation Organization launched a barrage of Katyushas in what was described by PLO spokesmen as a “second front” in the Persian Gulf war. The previous Katyushas launched at Israel fell short of their goal and landed in the security zone.
The offensive came in spite of a warning made Saturday by Lebanese President Elias Hrawi that the Lebanese government would “not tolerate the use of Katyusha rockets to provoke an invasion of this country.”
The Lebanese president did not mention the Palestinians by name. But he said, “Those we had received with open arms and treated equally with Lebanese are the ones spreading evil in the south. The liberation of Palestine cannot be fulfilled by the firing of Katyusha rockets.”
Elements of the Lebanese regular army, which has been moving southward for the past month, on Saturday night dismantled two Katyusha rocket launchers aimed at Israel just two hours before a timing mechanism was set to fire them.
The rocket attack seemed to be a response to an air strike Sunday by Israeli war planes that bombed Palestinian bases in southern Lebanon.