Earlier today Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) ambushed an IDF position in Israeli territory along the Lebanese border in northern Israel. Coordinated with the United Nations Peacekeeping troops (UNIFIL), the IDF forces were cutting down a tree that obstructed its view of Lebanese movements. This sort of activity is crucial to keep an open line of sight, to prevent attacks and kidnappings, like the one in the summer of 2006, which was in a similar location. The IDF reports that this work was fully coordinated with UNIFIL, and there was nothing unique about it.The tree was directly on the other side of a fence in Israeli territory which sits 50 meters away from internationally recognized “Blue Line”
One Israeli officer Lt. Col., Dov Harari (pictured below) was killed and another commander was seriously wounded and is in Rambam Hospital in Haifa. Three Lebanese soldiers and a journalist were killed on the other side. Not only was UNIFIL there and watching the incident. The IDF is investigating the incident as a premeditated attack for which there is much evidence, including the fact that the there were many “journalists” on the Lebanese who “happened to be there” when the incident occurred.
As the tree-trimming operation was happening, the LAF opened fire, not at the IDF soldiers who were trimming the trees, but at the commanders who were standing nearby observing the work. This is another indication that it was a preplanned attack not in reaction to the work on the fence.
“An Israeli soldier is seen on a crane on the Lebanese side of the Lebanese-Israeli border near Adaisseh village, southern Lebanon August 3, 2010. Israeli artillery shelled the Lebanese village on Tuesday, wounding two people, after Lebanese Army troops fired warning shots at Israeli soldiers.”
Forget the fact for a minute, that if Reuters checked the fact that the other side of the fence is internationally recognized as Israeli territory, or even the fact that the tree trimming operation was coordinated with the UNIFIL “peace keepers” but warning shots? Warning shots don’t kill people.
“The violence apparently erupted over a move by Israeli soldiers to cut down a tree along the border, a sign of the high level of tensions at the frontier where Israel fought in 2006 with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah….There was no sign of any extensive Israeli preparations for a large-scale operation — an early indication the clash might not trigger a wider conflict.”
“Our forces, in one of our positions, inside our own territory, were carrying out a task that was notified in advance to UNIFIL.The area is not disputed and is not claimed by Lebanon or anyone else,” he said. “The Lebanese army plainly and clearly opened fire in an unprecedented manner on Israeli soldiers, and our soldiers returned fire. It’s a clear provocation by sources within the Lebanese army. It’s an action that defies common sense.”
UPDATE From YNet News: Israeli army officials say peacekeeping forces touring site of Tuesday’s deadly skirmish determined that Lebanese soldiers had no reason to open fire on IDF troops performing routine border activity