TEL AVIV (Jul. 26)
An Israeli officer was killed and 14 other officers and soldiers injured Monday during a daylong series of attacks by Hezbollah gunmen in the southern Lebanon security zone.
The attacks, by artillery, mortars and both Sagger and Katyusha rockets, were apparently timed to coincide with the accord signing in Washington by Jordanian King Hussein and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
The attacks also took place on the first anniversary of the start of Operation Accountability, Israel’s weeklong shelling of terrorist bases in southern Lebanon in retaliation for rocket attacks on northern Israel.
Monday’s shelling, directed at 16 positions occupied by Israeli troops or their allied South Lebanon Army, began gradually after noon and peaked at 5 p.m. local time, when Hussein, Rabin and President Clinton were signing the document on the White House lawn.
At that moment, the pro-Iranian terrorists fired a series of missiles at an IDF convoy, killing Capt. Shai Goldstein of Hadera and wounding most of the other casualties.
Other soldiers were wounded by shots fired at their field positions.
In response to the attacks, the Israeli air foce went into action, bombing a number of Hezbollah positions north of the security zone.
Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Mordechai, commander of the northern region, said he had no reason to believe that the Syrians had no reason to believe that the Syrians had encouraged the attacks. But he said Syria was undoubtedly capable of stopping them if it so wished.