Israeli strike on eastern Lebanon kills 5 Palestinian militants, injures 10

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — An Israeli airstrike targeting the positions of a Syrian-backed Palestinian group in eastern Lebanon on Wednesday morning killed five Palestinian militants and injured 10 others, an official with the group said.

Anwar Raja of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command told The Associated Press in Damascus that the Israeli strike hit positions in the eastern Lebanese town of Qusaya, near the border with Syria. He added that two of the injured were in critical condition.

Another PFLP-GC official, Abu Wael Issam, based in Lebanon, told the AP that his group would retaliate “at the appropriate time”. He added that the strike would not deter his group “from intensifying the fight against the Israeli enemy”.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

The Lebanese army and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah also had no immediate comment on the airstrike.

The PFLP-CG has positions along the Lebanese-Syrian border as well as a military presence in both countries. The group had carried out attacks against Israel in the past.

The militant group became known for its major attacks on Israel, including the hijacking of an El Al airliner in 1968 and the strafing of another airliner at Zurich airport in 1969. In 1970, it planted a bomb on a Swissair plane which exploded during a flight. from Zurich to Tel Aviv, killing all 47 passengers on board.

The Damascus-based group has also carried out attacks against Israel from its bases in Lebanon.

During Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1985, the PFLP-GC captured three Israeli soldiers and negotiated their release in exchange for more than 1,100 prisoners, mostly Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians.

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