VARIOUS: VIOLENCE FLAIRS BETWEEN LEBANON'S HIZBOLLAH GUERRILLAS AND ISRAELI TROOPS ALONG BORDERRecord ID: 639564
- Title: VARIOUS: VIOLENCE FLAIRS BETWEEN LEBANON'S HIZBOLLAH GUERRILLAS AND ISRAELI TROOPS ALONG BORDER
- Date: 11th April 2002
- Summary: (W5)SHEBAA FARMS AREA NEAR THE LEBANON/ISRAEL BORDER (APRIL 10, 2002) (REUTERS) GV EXPLOSIONS, PLUMES OF SMOKE AND FLAMES (2 SHOTS) (W3) SHEBAA FARMS AREA NEAR THE LEBANON/ISRAEL BORDER (APRIL 10, 2002) (REUTERS) LV AREA; GV EXPLOSIONS, SMOKE RISING, AUDIO OF EXPLOSIONS AND GUNFIRE ON TAPE; MV MAN WATCHING, TAKING PICTURES OF EXPLOSIONS; GV MORE EXPLOSIONS (7 SHOTS)
- Reuters ID: LVAR76NNA0UW1465691U6880Z69
- Location: SHEBAA FARMS AREA NEAR THE LEBANON/ISRAEL BORDER, BEIRUT, LEBANON / MANAMA, BAHRAIN
- Country: Lebanon Bahrain
- Duration: 00:01:03
- Topics: General
- Story Text: Violence has flared between Lebanon's Hizbollah guerrillas and Israeli troops along the border, raising fears of a widening of the conflict between Israel and its Arab foes.
Police in Bahrain have fired teargas to disperse about 2,000 pro-Palestinian protesters trying to march on the heavily-fortified U.S. embassy in the Gulf Arab state.
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Lebanon, slamming Israel's raids on Palestinian areas and hailing Iraq's decision to suspend oil exports in protest.
The Shi'ite Muslim Hizbollah guerrillas fired more than 60 rockets and mortars at Israeli troops along the Lebanese border on Wednesday (April 10), the 12th day of attacks in response to a 13-day-old Israeli offensive in Palestinian West Bank towns, cities and camps.
Israel retaliated with five air strikes on targets in villages of southern Lebanon, forcing adults and children to flee their homes and schools to safer areas.
A spokesman for the 3,500-strong United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) told Reuters it was the worst violence of its kind since Israel ended a 22-year occupation of southern Lebanon in May 2000 and withdrew its troops across the border.
A Reuters correspondent said fighting erupted after Hizbollah fired dozens of rockets and mortars on six Israeli posts in the disputed Shebaa Farms area near the border between Lebanon, Israel and the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
He said rockets fired by Hizbollah hit an Israeli radar post in Mount Hermon on the foothills of the Golan. Palls of smoke were seen rising over the Israeli positions.
The attacks have raised speculation that Hizbollah, which has often hinted that it would militarily back the 18-month-old Palestinian uprising, was trying to open a second front against the Israelis. Hizbollah attacks helped end the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon.
Hizbollah, which fought a guerrilla campaign that helped to end Israel's occupation of south Lebanon, dedicated its attacks "to the martyrs of the Intifada."
It said in a statement its guerrillas destroyed Israeli fortifications, one Merkava tank, two radio transmission stations and two radar installations causing Israeli casualties, when they attacked the Israeli outpost in Rweisat al-Alam hill.
The Reuters correspondent said the guerrillas had tried to capture Rweisat al-Alam but failed despite ferocious close-quarter fighting, during which Hizbollah fighters managed to hoist their flag in front of the post.
The Lebanese border has been allowed to fall under Hizbollah control since the Israeli withdrawal. The Lebanese army has refused to deploy along the border area saying any security arrangements should be part of a final peace agreement between Lebanon, Syria and Israel.
Lebanon and Syria say the Shebaa Farms is still-occupied Lebanese land but the United Nations considers the area Syrian land captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
The escalating violence has prompted new demonstrations across the Middle East.
In Bahrain, police fired teargas to disperse about 2,000 pro-Palestinian protesters trying to march on the heavily-fortified U.S. embassy in the Gulf Arab state on Wednesday.
Chanting "Death to America, Death to Israel", the demonstrators swarmed around the embassy, which has been surrounded by hundreds of policemen since a riot on Friday (April 5) in which petrol bombs were flung into the compound.
Some protesters burned tyres on roads leading to the embassy on Wednesday as helicopters hovered above. The crowd disbanded shortly afterwards and there were no casualties.
The embassy closed during the protest.
Also in the Lebanese capital Beirut, thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters took to the streets to march on the U.S. embassy.
Chanting anti-U.S. slogans and waving Palestinian flags some 7,000 protesters carrying pictures of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat protested the Israeli incursion into areas of the West Bank.
Slamming Israel and praising Iraq's decision to suspend oil exports, they burned an Israeli flag.
In a heated standoff security police held back protesters by blocking the road leading to the U.S. compound.
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