Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An elite Israeli army unit operating north of the security zone in southern Lebanon killed three Hezbollah gunmen and wounded several others in an overnight ambush this week.

No Israeli forces were hurt in the Monday night operation, which was carried out by members of the Egoz unit, a special team established more than two years ago to be used exclusively against Hezbollah fighters in southern Lebanon.

According to reports, the Egoz unit crossed the security zone on foot, reaching a village just north of the zone that had become a springboard for Hezbollah attacks against Israeli and South Lebanon army forces.

The unit opened fire when it came upon a group of Hezbollah fighters. The Israeli troops then crossed back safely to the security zone.

The head of the Israel Defense Force northern command, Maj. Gen. Amiram Levine, said the operation was intended to send a message to Hezbollah to stop activities that violate the cease-fire reached after Operation Grapes of Wrath, the 16-day cross-border offensive Israel launched against Hezbollah one year ago.

Pre-Passover anxiety seen in more elderly

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Pre-Passover depression and anxiety have been increasingly identified among the elderly at a local hospital.

Dr. Baruch Shapira, head of the geriatric and psychogeriatric department at Jerusalem's Herzog Memorial Hospital, said adult children who have invited their parents to the seder report they are suffering from emotional woes.

Among the problems are anxiety over the fact that non-family members who are unknown to them have been invited to their children's seder, depression and sleep disorders. Some of the elders try to avoid going to the seder at all.

Shapira said many elderly are ashamed to appear before their family — and especially strangers — with their physical limitations or disabilities. Children should be patient and aware of the possible cause of their parents' distress, and even forgo inviting outsiders to the seder, he added.

"As it says in the Bible, `Honor thy father and thy mother, so that your days will be lengthened.'"