Israeli Warplanes Violate Lebanese Airspace

Israeli warplanes patrolled Lebanese airspace from Monday evening into the night and conducted intensive simulated air strikes against a series of settlements. Lebanese air defence forces reported that they returned fire. Three Israeli military helicopters and a spy drone simultaneously appeared in the region in the south of the country. The region was lit up by candle bombs dropped by the Israelis, while Lebanese anti-aircraft guns shot at the intruders. The Lebanese military command saw the Israeli operation as a threat "against any possible actions of Lebanese resistance in reply to the provocational shelling of Lebanese territory". According to a report on radio Saut al-Shaab, two Israeli military helicopters patrolled the Lebanese shore of the Mediterranean Sea for the first time since Israeli troops were pulled out of south Lebanon in May 2000. They attempted to approach the Palestinian refugee camp, Ein al-Helwa, but came under fire from Lebanese air defences.