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Israeli Jets Hit Lebanon in Reprisal : Palestinian Guerrilla Targets Struck After Galilee Rocket Attack

July 14, 1986|Associated Press

AINAB, Lebanon — Israeli jets rocketed and bombed Palestinian guerrilla targets in hills southeast of Beirut today, apparently in retaliation for rocket attacks on northern Israel. The raid killed four people and wounded 12, officials said.

Police and the International Red Cross reported in separate communiques that two Palestinian fighters died and 12 people were wounded during the 30-minute, late-morning raid on the hill towns of Aitat, Bayssour, Shimlan and Ainab.

Druze spokesmen said later that two Druze militiamen were also killed. The Druze, who dominate the Ainab region, are a secretive offshoot of Islam.

A squadron of 10 F-15 and two Phantom F-4 fighter-bombers delivered their payloads in five passes over targets in the mountains about 12 miles southeast of Beirut, police said.

'Accurate Hits' Reported

The Israeli command in Tel Aviv said its pilots reported "accurate hits . . . (on an) area of terrorist concentrations." It said all planes returned safely.

The raid followed overnight rocket attacks on Israel's northern Galilee region. Israeli military sources confirmed an Israel Radio report of the rocket attacks but said no injuries or damage resulted.

One building destroyed in Ainab was an office of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine headed by Marxist physician George Habash. The three-story stone house was left flattened and smoldering.

About 80 yards away, a four-story structure used by the Moscow-oriented Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine was left in a heap of rubble.

PLO Splinter Building Hit

Police said a three-story building used as a command post by Fatah-Uprising, a breakaway faction of Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat's mainstream Fatah group, was destroyed by several rocket hits in Bayssour.

The Democratic and Popular Fronts and Fatah-Uprising, which is headed by renegade PLO Col. Saeed Mousa, are backed by Syria. They are allied with Lebanese militiamen of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt's Progressive Socialist Party.

Palestinian guerrillas and Druze militiamen fired Soviet-made SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles at the streaking jets. But the Israeli pilots "fooled" the heat-seeking projectiles by releasing hot balloons, according to police.

Today's air strike was Israel's second in Lebanon in five days. Israeli helicopter gunships rocketed the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh near Sidon on Thursday. One Palestinian was killed and nine were wounded.

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