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30 July 1993
Agenda item 35
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Letter dated 30 July 1993 from the Permanent Representative
of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the
Further to our recent letters concerning the large-scale Israeli assault on Lebanon, the last of which was issued as document A/47/992-S/26192, I regret to inform you that the Israeli Government has continued to implement its hostile plans today, for the sixth day in succession, in spite of repeated international appeals to halt its military operations over Lebanese territory.
Systematic and concentrated air raids and fierce artillery shelling have continued, completely destroying dozens of villages and causing half a million people to flee in the direction of Beirut and other areas to the north. It seems clear from the statements of Israeli leaders and from the tragic situation in Lebanon that the new Israeli onslaught is aimed directly at innocent civilians and is designed to create a new "fact on the ground" that places a new burden on the shoulders of the debilitated State, thwarting the Lebanese Government's efforts and plans to build up its institutions and implement its reconstruction and development plans and undermining its achievements of the past two years.
As of 29 July 1993, Israel's scorched earth policy in southern Lebanon had left more than 110 dead and thousands wounded and had caused hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of damages to buildings, property and public utilities.
The tragic bloodshed of which the Lebanese people are the victims today has increased their determination to liberate their occupied territory. It reaffirms the importance of ensuring that the Security Council fulfils its obligation to implement its resolution 425 (1978) and to end the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, which has been the root cause of the critical and explosive situation in that area for the past 15 years. It is unacceptable that Israel and its military apparatus should be allowed to pursue its arrogant and destructive policy endlessly in southern Lebanon. The facts confirm its failure to achieve the security aims it has been proclaiming over the years. It would be more to the purpose to work for the implementation of international legitimacy, preserving Lebanon's sovereignty and providing security for the people living on both sides of the border. That would imply a withdrawal by Israel to its international frontier with Lebanon, giving the Lebanese Government the opportunity to impose its authority in the south by means of its lawful forces, in cooperation with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The following are the facts of the Israeli attacks on 28 and 29 July 1993:
- On 28 July, in the central sector of southern Lebanon, Israeli fighter aircraft and Cobra helicopters carried out scores of raids on villages in the area and on the town of Nabatiye, reducing parts of it to rubble. Napalm was used in the raids, causing widespread fires. Raids were directed against Douair, destroying homes and the mosque, Zawtar al-Charqiye, Zawtar al-Gharbiye, Haruf, Tibnine, Charqiye, whose mosque and school were destroyed, Zibdine, Kafr Sir, Maifadoun, Kafr Roumman, Choukine, Habbouch and Jibchit. This was followed by heavy artillery shelling which caused heavy damage.
- In the region of Iqlim al-Tuffah, missiles fell on the woodland and on the villages of Jarjouh and Ain Bossoir, both of which were completely destroyed, Mlita, Jabal Safi, Arabsalim, Kfar Milke, Kfar Hata, Loueize, Houmine, Mlikh and Kafr Fila.
- In the Tyre area, the raids targeted not only homes but also shelters, reducing them to debris. They were directed against the villages of Haris, Maaroub, Majdal Silm, Khirbat Silm, Qlaile, Adchit, Jouaiya, Bazouriye, Henniye, Qarie and Yatar.
The aircraft also targeted civilian cars carrying displaced persons between Chaabiye and Kafr Dounine, setting them and their passengers on fire.
Jibchit, Qaaqaaiyet al-Jisr, Braachit, Majdal Silm, Soultaniye, Haddatha, Aita al-Jabal, Qana and other villages were shelled by field artillery.
- In the Bekaa, aircraft carried out raids on the villages of Maidoun, Machghara, Ain al-Tine, Baiyade, Birket Jibour, Zillaya, Sohmor, Yohmor and Tallousse, turning their houses into rubble.
- In Sidon and its environs, the city and its outskirts were subjected to shelling by gunboats from the sea. Dozens of shells fell on the area, claiming many victims, igniting fires and causing extensive damage to property.
In many cases, it was impossible to reach the victims because of intensive bombardment. Moreover, ambulances were fired at by Israeli aircraft and helicopters.
- On 29 July 1993, the Israeli military machinery of destruction continued to attack villages in the central sector, using F-15 and F-16 aircraft and Cobra helicopters. The town of Nabatiye was specially targeted, as were the villages of Habbouch, Ghassaniye, Ansar, Maifadoun and Charqiye. Israeli aircraft continued to pursue civilian cars carrying displaced persons, setting them on fire and causing dozens of casualties.
- In Iqlim al-Tuffah, villages were set on fire by phosphorus bombs and Jabaa, Ain Bossoir, Mlita, Kfar Milke, Kfar Hata, Kfar Fila, Houmine, Arabsalim and Ain Qana were subjected to artillery shelling and air raids.
- In the Bekaa, Israeli aircraft continued their operations against civilian homes and ambulances, causing deaths and injuries. The artillery shelling was directed against the villages of Ain al-Tine, Maidoun, Jabal al-Zahr, Sohmor, Yohmor, Loueize, Qlaiya, Baiyade, Zillaya and Libbaya.
- In the Tyre and Bent Jbail area, Israeli aircraft used napalm in shelling Chaqra. The bombing targeted a shelter housing more than 20 families in Majdal Silm, killing and wounding many. The Irish UNIFIL unit in Barich was exposed to 155-mm artillery shelling, which set fire to a number of vehicles.
Israeli raids also targeted positions of the Lebanese army in Ras al-Ain, killing one and wounding another. The shelling of the villages of Mjeidil, Arzoun, Srifa, Chaabiye, Qabrikha, Jbal al-Botm, Jouaiya, Bazouriye, Qarie, Aitit, Soultaniye, Siddiquine, Adchit and Braachit left dozens of civilians dead and wounded.
In the Sidon area, Israeli aircraft continued their raids and flights over the city and its environs. Missiles and bombs were directed against the camp of Ain al-Hilwe and villages east of Sidon and in the Naame hills. This was accompanied by shelling from Israeli gunboats.
The Israeli forces are carrying out field tests of an Israeli-made air-to-surface missile, which is fired from Cobra helicopters. It has been fired from a number of different heights and positions at civilian cars and fixed targets.
Today, 29 July 1993, there has been an increase in the ratio of civilian casualties and in the number of persons fleeing towards 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