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Israeli Jets Bomb El Fatah Base in Lebanon

June 3, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel Air Force jets bombed El Fatah regional headquarters on the Lebanese coast north of Tyre at noon today and returned safely to their bases, a military spokesman announced. He said the pilots reported direct hits on their targets. There was no interference from Syrian jets nor were any missiles fired at the Israeli aircraft.

Today’s air raid was the second since U.S. special envoy Philip Habib returned to Washington for consultations before resuming his mission to defuse the Israeli-Syrian missile crisis. Political and military officials here continued to insist that the attacks on Palestinian targets in Lebanon are pre-emptive — to forestall terrorist incursions against Israel — and in no way related to the missile crisis or Israel’s commitment to help Christian forces in Lebanon.

Military sources said the El Fatah base hit today was located in an isolated building among orange groves far removed from civilian dwellings. El Fatah is the military arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Last Thursday Israeli jets bombed SAM-9 anti-aircraft missile installations supplied by Libya to protect a terrorist base near Damour, south of Beirut.

Israeli military sources claimed that the build-up of Libyan arms for the terrorists is continuing. Chief of Staff Gen. Rafael Eitan said today that one of the objectives of the air raids was to prevent the terrorists from absorbing the heavy weapons they have been receiving from Libya via Syria.

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