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28 July 1993
Agenda item 35
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Letter dated 28 July 1993 from the Permanent Representative
of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the
Further to my letter of 26 July 1993 (A/47/988-S/26165) concerning the facts of the extensive Israeli assault on Lebanese territory, I regret to inform you that Israel still persists today, for the fourth day in succession, in conducting air raids on Lebanese towns and villages, and the artillery of its occupying army continues to shell the villages of southern Lebanon with 175-mm and 155-mm field artillery and tank guns. This is being done with a view to causing maximum damage to people and property, in implementation of its declared plans to empty the south of its inhabitants, which thus far has led to the exodus of some 300,000 people towards the capital, Beirut, and confront the Lebanese Government with a dangerous social and political situation that will jeopardize its recent achievements in reunifying the country, extending order and the rule of law throughout its territory and pursuing a policy of national economic revival and growth after the well-known bloody and destructive events of the past. The Israeli forces have issued fresh warnings to the population of Sidon and Tyre to evacuate the cities because they will subsequently be subjected to Israeli bombardment.
This new Israeli aggression and its tragic and catastrophic consequences confirm Israel's resolute policy of undermining the stability of Lebanon, weakening its central authority, impeding its return to normalcy and frustrating its citizens' aspirations for a decent life in a prosperous country.
Persistent Israeli aggression at such a level of violence and with the aim, as stated by the Israeli Prime Minister, of inducing people to flee calls for a spontaneous response on the part of the Security Council to put an end to Israel's acts of murder, destruction and expulsion directed against Lebanese citizens and their property, and reaffirms the urgent need to work for an Israeli withdrawal from the Lebanese south, in implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978).
The Israeli occupation, which has continued for 15 years, has not served the purpose of providing security for northern Israel. On the Lebanese side, it has claimed scores of lives, left hundreds wounded and inflicted continuous damage on property and vital utilities. Peace will not come to Lebanon and the region as long as Israel continues to occupy southern Lebanon. The latest military escalation threatens to exacerbate the cycle of violence and crushes all hope of bringing about the peace to which the peoples of the region aspire.
The following are the facts of the Israeli attacks over the past two days:
- At 1100 hours on the morning of Monday, 26 July 1993, Israeli fighter aircraft and helicopters carried out raids on Ain al-Hilwa camp east of Sidon.
- At 1215 hours, Israeli aircraft carried out a raid on Mashgara, Sohmor and Ain Tineh in the western Bekaa, destroying a number of private houses.
- At the same time, Israeli fighter aircraft conducted a raid on Wadi al-Sheikh in the western Bekaa, destroying two homes.
- At 1315 hours, fighter aircraft conducted a raid on the villages of Qana, Hannowieh, Kafra, Ramadieh and Siddiquin.
- At 1400 hours, Hmeiri was raided and at 1450 hours the raids targeted Qana, Aitit and Maaroub east of Tyre.
- At 1500 hours, a helicopter raid was conducted on Mahrouneh and Joaya east of Tyre and two Israeli helicopters strafed the wooded slopes of Jabal al-Rayhan with machine-gun fire.
- At 1700 hours, fighter aircraft conducted raids on the railway station near Ain al-Hilwa camp in Sidon, on Mayasseh farm in Iqlim al-Tuffah and on Salihiye east of Sidon. Raids were also carried out on Tibnin, Haris, Ain Bossoir, Jabaa, Zawtar al-Sharqiye and Zawtar al-Gharbiye.
- At 1730 hours, Israeli aircraft carried out raids on Nabatiye, Kfar Roumman, Zawtar, Kafr Tibnit, Haris, Aitit, Khirbat Silm, Kafra, Yatar, Jmeijmeh, Dayr Amis, Sultaniye, Siddiquin, Zahrani and Bossoir.
These air raids killed and wounded a number of civilians and caused extensive damage to the villages and to property. They were accompanied throughout the day and night by heavy Israeli shelling with 175-mm and 155-mm field artillery of Arabsalim, Jarjou, Jebaa, Ain Bossoir, Houmin al-Fawqa, Houmin al-Tahta, Kfarmelki, Mlita, Loueize, Jabal Safi and the villages of Iqlim al-Tuffah. In the western Bekaa, the shelling was directed at the villages of Mashgara, Maidoun, Ain Tineh, Sohmor, Yohmor and Zallaya. East of Tyre, it was directed against the villages of Aitit, Qana, Hannowieh, Dayr Amis, Hinniye, Qarih, Knayse, Siddiquin and Zibqin. In the afternoon, the shelling was directed against the villages of Mansouriye, Qalile, Maaroub, Braachit, Shaqra, Khirbat Silm, Majdal Silm, Kafra, Yatar, Qabrikha, Haddatha, Ayta al-Jabal, Sawwan, Barish, Safad al-Battikh, Touline, Tamriye and Souane.
In the central sector, the city of Nabatiye and its environs were subjected to heavy shelling throughout the day. The villages of Tibnin, Kfar Tibnit, Zawtar, Maifadoun, Zifta, Aba, Doueir, Froun, Ghandouriye and Shoukine were also shelled.
The shelling left civilians dead and wounded, caused widespread damage and ignited many fires.
On Tuesday, 27 July 1993, the Israeli occupation forces continued their aggression. From 0400 hours onwards, Israeli aircraft carried out raids on the Maidoun heights, on Mashgara, Mlita, Jabaa, Loueize, Jabal Safi, Ain Bossoir, Jarjou and Kfar Hatta in Iqlim al-Tuffah and on Harouf, Jibchit, Jabal al-Ahmar, Zawtar al-Sharqiye, Zawtar al-Gharbiye, Haris, Kfar Tibnit and Kfar Roumman in the central sector. The raids were accompanied by heavy artillery shelling of most of the villages and towns of the south, especially the city of Nabatiye, on which hundreds of incendiary phosphorus bombs fell, making it impossible to count casualties and preventing ambulance teams from reaching them. Shelling was also directed against most of the villages of Iqlim al-Tuffah and the towns and villages of the western Bekaa.
Positions of the international forces were exposed to Israeli raids and the positions of the Lebanese Army in Habbouch, Arabsalim, Maifadoun, Khartoum and Kfar Tibnit came under fire.
The number of casualties as of yesterday - Tuesday, 27 July 1993 - came to 53 dead and 200 wounded. In addition, over a quarter of a million people have fled from southern Lebanon in the direction of Beirut.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 35, and of the Security Council.
) Khalil MAKKAWI