Lebanese Armed Forces Open Fire at Israeli Border

Published: August 3rd 2010
in News » Israel

Israel-Lebanon border, known as the Blue Line

Earlier today, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) fired at Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) along the Lebanese border in northern Israel, near the town of Metula.


Three Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist were killed in the exchange, which, according to Haaretz, appeared to be the most serious military confrontation since Israel's month-long war with Hezbollah in 2006.


The LAF had been in Israeli territory, carrying out routine maintenance that was pre-coordinated with United Nations International Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The incident occurred west of the internationally recognized "Blue Line" (the border between Israel and Lebanon) and east of the security fence, thus lying in Israeli territory.


The IDF immediately returned fire. Several minutes later, an Israel Air Force (IAF) helicopter fired at the LAF Battalion Command Center in Al-Taybeh, damaging several LAF armored combat vehicles.


Lebanese security sources said that Israeli shells fired at the southern Lebanese border village of Aadassi hit a house, injuring a soldier and a civilian.


Lebanese troops responded with gun fire, according to Lebanese press.


The LAF confirmed that two of its troops had been killed when Israeli forces fired on a vehicle in which they were traveling, setting it on fire, and wounding another.


"It started when the Israelis wanted to cut a tree down inside Lebanon," one security source in Lebanon said. "The Lebanese army fired warning shots at them and they responded by shelling."


Since the end of the Second Lebanon War, the IDF has conducted patrols up to the international border, which in some places, is on the Lebanese side of the border fence.


It is possible that Tuesday's incident was caused by soldiers accidentally mistaking one side of the border for another. In Lebanon, there was a report that Lebanese soldiers had demanded that Israeli troops leave the area before the exchange of fire took place.


"Israel sees this incident as a violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701, one of a long line of violations, first of which is the massive arming of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon," Israel released in a statement. "Israel views the government of Lebanon as responsible for this grave event and warns of possible consequences if these violations continue."

Related articles: (Lebanon, IDF, LAF, blue line, border)

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