Deadly Clashes between Israel and Lebanon
Tuesday on the border between the two countries a military confrontation left some Lebanese soldiers and Israeli officers dead and the others fearing that a new wave of violence will take place between the two. Dov Harari a Lieutenant Colonel in the army of Israel was killed and a soldier was gravely wounded, said the statement released by the Israel Defense Force. The Lebanese representative said that two soldiers were dead and several were wounded. In the clash a journalist, Assaf Abu Rahal, was killed, said the Lebanon’s official National News Agency.
In a statement from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the United Nations Force in Lebanon contacted the two sides and send a force commander and peacekeepers to take care of the area.
This clash will be investigated by the UN Force, Ban Ki-moon said that “urges the parties to exercise maximum restraint and to work with UNIFIL and the U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon in taking steps to consolidate the calm now restored in the area”.
The Israeli forces said that the Lebanese soldiers opened fire and that they were crossing the Israeli side. Dan Meridor, Minister of Intelligence in Israel said that the attack was filmed and that all happened on Israel territory.
“This is all under Israeli sovereignty,” said Meridor. “Somebody wanted to ignite fire and kill one of our soldiers and wound another. We responded in a military way. But this should serve as a warning: Don’t dare do this again.”
Ehud Barak warned the Lebanese side to not try to provoke again the military forces and he firmly asked for an investigation on the violence that took place Tuesday. Barak said that he will not accept more attacks on Israeli grounds.
“The IDF will continue to act firmly and determinedly to protect the residents of Israel and the sovereign borders of Israel,” declared Ehud Barak.
The military force from Israel said that the soldiers that were attacked were on a routine patrol. A statement stipulated that the soldiers were in “an area that lies between the ‘blue line’ (international borders between the two countries) and the security fence, thus within Israeli territory”.
The Lebanese report from the press said that the Israel forces wanted to remove a tree and that was the motive of blood shed. The Lebanese army prevented the Israeli military force to do that and the UN Interim Force stationed in Lebanon got involved, said the National News Agency.
The Lebanese army said that they asked for help from the UN force but the Israeli army didn’t comply and entered the Lebanese territory and engaged with open fire and artillery attack. This made the Lebanese forces to open fire and the Israeli army destroyed a house in Odaise.
Michel Suleiman president of Lebanon said that Israel broke the UN resolution 1701 by crossing the border and attacking the military point in Odaise. He stated that the aggression of Israel should be challenged no matter the costs, he added that he will handle this situation on a diplomatic plan.
In 2006 Israel fought a war with Hezbollah for five months after the militants, with Lebanese citizenship, crossed the border and kidnapped two Israeli men.
The Resolution 1701 issued to stop the military conflict in 2006, stipulates that Israel is not allowed to enter the Lebanon territory with military forces and conduct military operation on Lebanese territory. Israel says that Hezbollah is a terrorist group made by the US and they violated the resolution by making mass weapons traffic into the South of Lebanon.
The General Secretary of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah accused Israel of continually attacking Lebanon and that they are guilty of 7,000 violations of the Resolution. This statement of the General Secretary was made on television when they were celebrating the four years that passed since the war.
“We salute the Lebanese army and we salute their commander, their soldiers and their officers for baptizing the land with their blood,” said Hassan Nasrallah. “Our young men were in Odaise and other neighboring villages in the south but we asked them to exercise restraint. We were ready to fight and defend our land.”
Santi Bonfanti the Commander in charge went to Odaise and said that everything is calm and back to normal. UN is encouraging both sides to be extremely caution, said Neeraj Singh.
Saad Hariri has been discussing about the dangerous situation with President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, the Prime Minister of Jordan, Samir Rifai, the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa and Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu.
Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria stated that they will be supporting Lebanon against the “heinous aggression launched by Israel”, the Syrian state news agency SANA said to the public.
“This aggression proves once more,” he said, “that Israel has always been seeking to destabilize security and stability in Lebanon and the region.”
The Obama administration expressed the concern about the situation between the two countries and asked them to show calm in such moments and to let the UN finish the Inquiry.
P.J Crowley representative for the State Department declared for the reporters that they were in touch with Israel, Lebanon, UNIFIL, supervising closely the UN mission on the ground so that they could establish the facts.
Nasrallah the head of Hezbollah said that any investigation held by the UN would disfavor Lebanon.
“Israel wasn’t condemned for massacres that they have committed,” he said. “The U.N. will not condemn their aggression in Odaise.”
He also said that the conflict will not transform in a war.
“I don’t believe that there is a likelihood of a close to war but there is reason for concern”, said the head of Hezbollah.
Will the Hezbollah attack Israel?
Will the conflict between Israel and Lebanon will take amplitude and become a real war?11