Lebanese attack on Israeli soldiers was unprovoked, UN confirms

Thursday, August 26, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on Wednesday completed its investigation into an August 3rd border clash that left two Lebanese soldiers and one Israeli officer dead. The findings were sent to both the Israeli and Lebanese armies.

"Both the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israeli Defense Forces cooperated fully with the UNIFIL team during the investigation, and that the report confirms the preliminary conclusions of UNIFIL," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.

UNIFIL's preliminary findings were that Lebanese forces had launched an unprovoked attack on Israeli soldiers who were pruning a tree on the Israeli side of the UN-demarcated Blue Line, the de facto border between the two countries. The tree had been setting off Israel's security fence sensors.

At the time of the incident, Lebanon insisted that while the tree may have been south of the Blue Line, the area is nevertheless Lebanese territory. Lebanese President Michel Suleiman later visited the site and praised the violent action by his nation's soldiers.

Ignoring Suleiman's belligerence, Nesirky said that "UNIFIL force commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas hopes that this report will assist the parties in preventing the recurrence of such incidents."

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