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25 March 1985
Item 38 of the preliminary list*
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Letter dated 23 March 1985 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
Further to my earlier letters concerning Israeli practices and the acts of aggression committed by Israel in southern Lebanon, the western Bekaa and the district of Rachaiya, I have the honour to inform you, on instructions from my Government, of further inhuman acts of aggression perpetrated by that country against the innocent inhabitants of southern Lebanon.
On 21 March 1985, after an intensive bombardment of the villages of Houmine el-Tahta and Kfar Milké, the Israeli forces besieged the following villages of the district of Zahrani: Arb Salim, Houmine el-Faouqa, Sarba, Ain Qana, Jabaa, Kfar Fila, Kfar Milke, Jbal el-Arab, Mazraat Tiba and Anqoun.
Approximately 60 motorized vehicles and "Merkava" tanks, hundreds of soldiers and elements of the Lahad force and helicopters and special paratroop units participated in the operation. The Israeli forces advanced to within seven kilometres of the town of Sidon, besieging, on their way, three Lebanese army posts situated in areas which they had evacuated in the first phase of their withdrawal, leaving numerous wounded and causing material damage.
At Houmine el-Tahta, 20 persons were found dead under the ruins of a school and several houses which the Israeli forces had destroyed.
The Israeli tanks pounded the village of Kfar Milke, killing two journalists from a United States television team - Tewfik Ghazawi and Bahij Metni, hit by shots aimed intentionally in their direction by one of the Israeli tanks.
After their withdrawal, the Israeli forces destroyed and burnt the State police post of the village of Jabaa and a number of houses and took dozens of prisoners. Moreover, it was not until some hours later that members of the civil defence and the Red Cross were authorized to enter the besieged villages.
In the district of Sour, the Israeli forces besieged two villages and made the inhabitants assemble in the school courtyard for the purpose of checking identities. Before withdrawing, they took dozens of prisoners and destroyed more than 20 houses. On 22 March 1985, the Israeli forces besieged the village of El Qoulailé, killing six persons and taking 20 young men prisoner. Among the victims were a Lebanese army sergeant and two women.
The Lebanese Government emphatically condemns the above-mentioned practices and savage end repeated acts of aggression perpetrated by the occupying Israeli forces against the civilian population of southern Lebanon, the western Bekaa and the district of Rachaiya. It draws the Security Council's attention to the gravity and inhuman character of such practices, which are contrary to international law, human rights and the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
The continuation of these practices confirms what Lebanon has constantly reiterated, namely that, because the Security Council is obstructed in its work and is unable to perform the tasks incumbent on it, Israel is tacitly encouraged to pursue its inhuman policy towards the civilian popula tion of the Lebanese territory which it occupies and even of the territory from which it has withdrawn.
I should be grateful if you would arrange for the text of this letter to be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under item 38 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.
) Rachid FAKHOURY
*A/40/50 and Corr.l.