TEL AVIV (Feb. 16)
The border areas on the edge of the Israeli-controlled security zone in southern Lebanon were tense Tuesday on the one-year anniversary of Israel’s assassination of Hezbollah leader Sheik Abbas Musawi.
A day earlier, Israeli soldiers patrolling the area shot dead two guerrillas attempting to infiltrate the security zone, in an attack military sources said was probably planned to mark the anniversary of Musawi’s death.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Hezbollah members and sympathizers staged mass demonstrations in Beirut and other Lebanese towns Tuesday.
Musawi was killed a year ago when Israeli helicopter gunships fired guided missiles at the Islamic Shi’ite leader’s guarded car as it traveled in a caravan in southern Lebanon. Musawi’s wife and one child were also killed in the attack.
Hezbollah attacks on the security zone are expected to continue until U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher completes his Middle East tour next week, as a demonstration of the organization’s opposition to the proposed resumption of peace talks.
According to reports from Lebanon, Israeli and allied South Lebanon Army gunners shelled Lebanese villages north of Bint Jbail in the central sector of the zone, in reprisal for earlier mortar attacks on military posts in the zone and the attempted infiltration.