Army Rescues Israeli Who Hang-Glided into Lebanon
Just two days after the Hizbullah terror group’s failed attempt to kidnap IDF soldiers, an Israeli citizen accidentally hang-glided into Lebanon, where the army had to rescue him.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 11/24/2005, 2:19 PM / Last Update: 11/23/2005, 5:43 PM
The Israeli hang-glider intended to land in the Huleh Valley, but due to unusually strong winds, was swept over the Lebanese border, a few hundred feet from the border-fence.
Hizbullah terrorists spotted him and approached him, attempting to capture him and hold him hostage. When he began to run away, they opened fire, though he was not injured.
Witnesses in Manara, which overlooks the Huleh Valley, called security forces, who approached the fence and shot at Hizbullah terrorists from the Israeli side of the border. They then opened the crossing to enable the Israeli to flee to safety.
IDF forces continued to exchange fire with the terrorists following the incident.
Hizbullah issued a statement claiming that the IDF crossed into Lebanon, but the IDF rebuffs the claim.
Hang-gliders often fly over the lush Huleh Valley from Manara, but this time the strong gust of wind got the better of one.
The hang-glider told Israel Radio he was extremely grateful to the IDF for its quick action in saving his life. “Thanks to the army I am now in Israel and not Lebanon. If not for them, my situation would be very different – I would not be alive,” he said. “I went through a frightening ordeal, but thanks to the IDF I am back home.”
Earlier in the day, IDF jets dropped thousands of leaflets over Arab villages in southern Lebanon in an attempt to turn public opinion against Hizbullah.
The leaflets said, in Arabic:
"Dear Lebanese citizens: Who protects Lebanon? Who is lying to you? Who is sending your children to a battle they are not ready for? Who desires a return to the destruction? Who is the tool in the hand of its Syrian and Iranian masters?
"Hizbullah is causing enormous harm to Lebanon and Israel will protect its citizens,” concluded the leaflet, which was signed, “The State of Israel.”
Hizbullah spokesman Mohammed Afif said in a statement that the leaflets are "an expression of Israeli failures in facing Hizbullah."
Israeli Defense Minister Sha’ul Mofaz said the Israeli response to Hizbullah’s attacks, comprising return fire and the bombing of several Hizbullah positions and Lebanese targets, was a “measured one.”