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Hezbollah Attacks Israeli Army in South Lebanon - 2004-06-08


Hezbollah guerillas in Lebanon attacked Israeli positions in the disputed Shebaa Farms area Tuesday, a day after Israeli warplanes attacked a Palestinian militant base south of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

The militants fired several dozen rockets and mortar shells into the Har Dov area, slightly wounding one Israeli soldier. The Israeli military said its troops then returned fire. The attack occurred in the Shebaa Farms, a disputed region on the Israeli, Lebanese and Syrian borders.

Late Monday night Israeli jets fired at targets in the hills near Naameh village, just a few kilometers south of Beirut. They said the targets were positions in a large base maintained by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. There were no casualties at the base, which was described by news reports as an abandoned facility that was empty at the time of the attack.

The Israeli military issued a statement afterward saying the strike was carried out in response to a rocket attack from Lebanese territory on an Israeli naval vessel in Israeli territorial waters in the Mediterranean.

The statement quoted Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz as saying Israel holds the Lebanese and Syrian governments responsible for attacks initiated from inside Lebanon. Mr. Mofaz said Israel is determined stop what he called terror acts emanating from Lebanon.

Lebanon condemned the attack and filed a letter of complaint with the U.N. Security Council over the incident.

Syrian-supported Palestinian militants have often used bases in southern Lebanon to launch strikes on Israel.

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