Yesterday, 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.The tree was directly on the other side of a fence in Israeli territory which sits 50 meters away from internationally recognized “Blue Line”
In a radio interview today, UNIFIL Spokesman Milos Struger confirms that the IDF had coordinated with UNIFIL in advance as well as that the IDF was below the Blue Line,and within Israeli territory. Five people lost their lives in the Lebanese attack, one Israeli officer, three Lebanese soldiers and a reporter from a Hezbollah-run Lebanese newspaper.
Below is the transcript of the interview Struger conducted with Israeli Armed forces radio and a link to hear the interview (the questions are in Hebrew the answers in English)
Golan Yochpaz, Israel Army Radio broadcaster, interviews Milos Struger, a Senior Political Advisor to the Commander of UNIFIL Forces along the Israeli-Lebanese border.
Yochpaz: “Those in charge of keeping the peace in the tense region on the border between Israel and Lebanon are UNIFIL soldiers, who were witnesses to the incident between two sides yesterday. The Hungarian diplomat Milos Struger who is used as a political advisor for the commander of the UNIFIL forces in the area, and is located with the UN forces there. A few hours ago we spoke to him over the phone and spoke about what appeared to be a planned deadly ambush by the LAF against the IDF. Struger clarifies that the IDF operated accordingly, and notified us accordingly about their intent to work to clear the region. It is not clear to us how such a routine activity, which occurs almost daily, ended with casualties to both sides.”
Struger: “IDF informed UNIFIL that they are going to do some work cutting the tree from the other side north of the technical fence but south of the blue line. The situation on the ground quickly became tense because the LAF also deployed their forces on the ground. We also had our own people who were trying to diffuse this tension.”
Yochpaz translates Struger’s comments.
Yochpaz: “We now ask from Struger according to his facts, where exactly did the IDF work on the trees in relation to the boundaries on the map.”
Struger: “It was in the area of al Adessa just north of Misgad Am. Tomorrow we will have a technical team to exactly establish the location in relation to the blue line.”
Yochpaz translates Struger’s comments
Struger: “I can confirm that we received notification from the IDF early in the morning about this work, and we conveyed this to Lebanese army. Our investigation has been launched today…”
Yochpaz: “We asked him if the IDF coordinated the activity with the LAF through UNIFIL and he confirms the statement, saying it was coordinated. We received the message in the morning and gave to the Lebanese army, meaning the Lebanese army knew about the event. Our investigation is not yet complete and I am waiting for final report that we will be released today. After UNIFIL workers will meet with Lebanese Army representatives and Israeli army representatives and present their findings. In Israel we know about a string of provocations and baiting that have occurred recently against IDF soldiers. How does UNIFIL intend to act in regards to this issue? We now ask the Hungarian diplomat.”
Struger: “Daily basis we are dealing with all the different situations. Sometimes there are incidents and we manage to resolve the potential danger.”
Yochpaz translates Struger’s comments and adds: “This is the most serious incident to occur along the Lebanese border since 2006.”
You may remember that based on reports from the AP and Reuters most of the of the Mainstream media reported that Israel was trimming a tree that was on Lebanese land ,or on the border ,and gave the impression that Israel was the aggressor.
“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.”
As usual AP and Reuters published the anti-Israel accounts without asking any questions, or making any attempt to seek the truth. This is one of the rare cases where the United Nations actually tells the truth and backs up Israel’s story, the wire services could have asked UNIFIL before writing their reports. Instead the Associated Press and Reuters have once again gotten caught with their bias showing.