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Lebanon Briefs U.N. Chief on Israeli Attacks

Story Filed: Tuesday, February 08, 2000 2:40 PM EST

BEIRUT (Feb. 8) XINHUA - Lebanese Prime Minister Salim Hoss said his country
has sent a message to Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan,
on the latest Israeli air raid against civilian institutions in Lebanon.

Lebanon urged Annan to exert efforts to deter Israel from launching more
attacks on Lebanon, he said, adding that the message asked Annan to brief
the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, namely Britain,
France, Russia, the United States and China, on the message.

The Lebanese president held Israel responsible for the deterioration of
situation in the region and the failure of the Israel-Lebanon 1996 truce
pact.

Hoss noted that the Lebanese resistance did not surpass the April Accord,
1996, under which Israel, Lebanon and militant groups, especially the
Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah (Party of God), should not attack
civilians or launch military operations from highly-populated areas on both
sides.

Israel is the party that tore up the accord when it conducted air strikes
against civilian targets in the depth of Lebanon, he added.

Lebanon has submitted a protest to the committee on cease fire observation,
set up under the April Accord, in southern Lebanon. The committee,
comprising representatives from the United States, France, Lebanon, Syria
and Israel, is in charge of overseeing any violation of the accord.

The committee will, according to Hoss, hold a meeting to discuss the
protest.

Hoss said that any people has the right to resistance when it falls under
occupation, thus the Lebanese resistance is legitimate and will continue.

Lebanon urges the international community, especially the major powers, to
condemn the Israeli air attacks that went against the peace process and
belied Israel's claims about readiness to pull out from southern Lebanon by
next July, he concluded.

The strikes, which began late Monday night and continued through early
Tuesday, were mounted in retaliation for the recent killings of five Israeli
soldiers and a senior commander of the pro-Israel South Lebanon Army in
south Lebanon, Israel said.

About 38 Lebanese civilians, including women and children, were injured in
the campaign. Power supplies in large parts of Lebanon, including the
capital city of Beirut, were knocked off as several power stations were
destroyed.

Hezbollah has vowed to revenge the Israeli attacks. Hours after the Israeli
raids, an Israeli soldier was killed in southern Lebanon in guerrilla rocket
attack, which raised to six the number of soldiers Israel lost in the area
since the beginning of the year.

An SLA militiaman was wounded in a separate attack Tuesday and later died in
an Israeli hospital.
 

Copyright © 2000, Xinhua News Agency, all rights reserved.