Israeli warplanes bombed and strafed Palestinian guerrilla positions in southern Lebanon today, less than 24 hours after Arab rockets slammed into the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona for, the first-time in more than a year.
The Isaeli army command said the attacking aircraft struck at four Palestine Liberation Organization training and staging positions in both sides of the Litani River, as well as at the Crusader-era Beaufort Castle, now a PLO stronghold. A military spokesman said the aircraft scored "direct hits."
Positions struck were a base of the Iraqi-backed Arab Liberation Front in Barilya, south of the Litani; Beir Dajil, north of the river; a camp of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine at an undisclosed location north of the Litani, and a base of the Syrian-backed Saiqa east of Tyre on the Mediterranean coast.
U.n. peacekeeping sources said U.S.-made Phantoms and Skyhawks as well as Israeli-built Kfir fighter-bombers, were used in the raids.
Israeli authorities refused to draw a connection, but the raids followed last night's shelling of Kiryat Shmona with Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon. Five Israelis were lightly wounded.
Israeli has repeatedly said its policy in Lebanon is not retaliatory, but is geared for disrupting terrorist training by the PLO there.
The last announced Israeli air attack was on Oct. 2, when warplanes bombed a Palestinian stronghold south of Beirut, inflicting heavy casualties. b
Washington Post special correspondent Nora Boustany reported from Beirut:
Palestinian sources said at least one guerrilla was killed and more than nine other people wounded in the Israeli raids. Hospital sources in southern Lebanon said four had been killed and 22 injured.
The Palestinian news agency, WAFA, accused Israel of dropping phosphorous shells and napalin as well as conventional bombs. Leftists in southern Lebanon charged that some bombs with delayed fuses were dropped in an apparent effort to cause higher casualties among rescue workers.
The attack came in the wake of a Lebanese complaint to the U.N. Security Council about Israel's continuing attacks on Lebanon's territory and water resources.