Newsletter : 6fax0410.txt
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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
April 10, 1996 V4, #64
All the News the Big Guys Missed
IAF Retaliates After Hizbullah Rockets Kiryat Shmona
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
Israeli warplanes bombarded suspected guerrilla strongholds in
southern Lebanon Tuesday in retaliation for cross-border rocket
attacks launched by Hizbullah fighters. The Hizbullah justified
their attack to avenge the death of a Lebanese teenager in a land
The Katyusha rocket attack into northern Israel left 13 Israelis
wounded, most of them in Kiryat Shmona. In Beirut, Hizbullah
fighters said the attack was launched to avenge the land mine death
of a young Lebanese the night before. They blamed the death on
Israel denied planting the mine and UN peacekeepers there said
they would investigate. But the Israeli army advised residents
of northern Israel to spend the night in their bomb shelters just
After the cross-border rocket attack early Tuesday, Israel sent
warplanes over southern Lebanon to bombard suspected Hizbullah
terrorist positions. The army also responded with artillery and
Tensions have increased in recent weeks along the Lebanese-Israeli
border, which remains the last active Arab-Israeli war front in the
region. About 10 days ago Hizbullah fighters fired rockets into
northern Israel after Israeli shelling killed two Lebanese
civilians in what Israel said was an error.
So far, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres has resisted calls from
politicians at home to use more force against Hizbullah. Instead he
has called on Syria and the US to try to bring calm to the area.
Syria and Lebanon have always resisted calls to curb the
pro-Iranian militants on the grounds they are legitimately
resisting Israel's occupation of a self-declared security zone
inside southern Lebanon. Peace talks between Lebanon and Israel
hinge on an Israeli withdrawal from the area.
What Would it Take to End Hizbullah Actions?
By Edward Yeranian (VOA-Beirut)
Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres continues to insist the
Lebanese government stop the Shi'ite militant Hizbullah from
attacking his troops in southern Lebanon. Hizbullah, which calls
itself the Lebanese resistance, now wages a guerrilla war to drive
the Israeli army out of the nine-mile border strip it occupies.
Although Hizbullah appears fearsome to the West, it has lost much
of the grip it once had on Lebanese society.
Today, most Lebanese worry about inflation and rebuilding, not
about Islamic revolution. While the West is concerned about the
spread of Islamic militants, Hizbullah looks more and more like a
small, but vocal, minority in Lebanon.
Despite repeated rocket attacks against northern Israel and a
terrorist war with the Israeli army, many long-time observers and
academics say Hizbullah's clout as a political force appears to
be waning. Threats to launch a wave of suicide bombings against
Israeli troops are seen by many as an attempt to put pressure on
Israel in peace talks with Syria.
When civil war ended in 1991, Hizbullah formed a political party
with much of its strength coming from the poor and forgotten of
Lebanon's Shi'ite community. Opinion polls indicate less than
20 percent of Lebanese Shi'ites now support Hizbullah.
In most Shi'ite neighborhoods, Hizbullah still maintains a high
profile. It builds low-cost housing, runs health clinics and pays
to educate children.
But with the civil war over, much of Lebanon appears to be
embracing Western culture as anti-Western rallies organized by
the group no longer draw a crowd. Less than 3,000 people turned
out for a recent demonstration.
Hizbullah, which means -- Party of God -- in Arabic, was founded
in 1982 by Iranian revolutionary guards. Now much of Hizbullah's
encouragement appears to come from Syria, which has 35,000 troops
stationed in Lebanon. Syrian President Hafez al Assad has said
repeatedly Hizbullah has a right to resist Israeli occupation.
Israel remains a catalyst of resentment for many hard-liners in
Hizbullah. Some, like former leader Soubhi Toufayli say they
will continue to fight the Jewish state until it is destroyed.
Arab League Upset About Radioactive Leaks
By Jessica Jones (VOA-Cairo)
Officials of the Arab League met Tuesday to discuss reported
radiation leaks at Israel's Dimona nuclear reactor. Arab League
members say Israel should allow international teams to monitor its
nuclear facilities. It says Israel should scrap its weapons and
join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Israel's nuclear program has always been a concern of its Arab
neighbors. There are reports Israel may have nearly 200 nuclear
Recent reports of leaks at Dimona have made the situation worse.
Last month, Israeli media reported radioactive waste in the Negev
desert is improperly stored in 30-year-old underground containers.
But Egyptian officials at Tuesday's meeting said radiation levels
have not increased on the border of Egypt and Israel, and the
Israelis have said there is no cause for alarm.
Members of the Palestinian Authority called the Arab League meeting
because they feared the effects of leaks in Gaza and the West Bank.
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