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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Feb 25th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow Fiercest Border Clashes since 2006 Kill 3 Lebanese Troops, Journalist, Israeli Officer
Fiercest Border Clashes since 2006 Kill 3 Lebanese Troops, Journalist, Israeli Officer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Naharnet, AFP, MSNBC   
Tuesday, 03 August 2010

Israeli soldiers use a crane as they appear to cut a tree on the Lebanese side of the border in the southern village of Adaisseh, Lebanon, Tuesday.  The action is believed to be the catalyst for the most serious clashes between the two nations since a fierce war four years ago, authorities said.
Israeli soldiers use a crane as they appear to cut a tree on the Lebanese side of the border in the southern village of Adaisseh, Lebanon, Tuesday. The action is believed to be the catalyst for the most serious clashes between the two nations since a fierce war four years ago, authorities said.

Lebanese and Israeli troops traded fire Tuesday along the tense border in the fiercest clashes since the devastative July 2006 war four years ago, with officials reporting three Lebanese soldiers and a journalist dead and several Israeli soldiers wounded.


Report: Five killed in Lebanese-Israeli border clash
Most serious since two countries went to war in 2006

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Israeli and Lebanese troops engaged in a rare cross-border skirmish on Tuesday that killed five in the most serious violence along the frontier since a 2006 war.

An Israeli helicopter fired two missiles at a Lebanese army post near Adaisseh village, destroying an armored personnel carrier, according to Reuters. Witnesses said Israeli artillery also fired at the village, the news service said.

Reuters reported that four Lebanese and an Israeli officer were killed, while The Associated Press reported that Lebanon said at least two of its soldiers and a Lebanese journalist were killed in shelling.

Hezbollah's Al Manar television said a high-ranking Israeli soldier was killed on the border. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

While there was no explanation for the different accounts, discrepancies are common in the immediate aftermath of such events.

Dispute over tree?

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.

The Iranian- and Syrian-backed organization took no part in Tuesday's exchange of fire. 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.



A Lebanese security official said at least one Israeli soldier was seriously wounded in the clashes which were apparently sparked when Israeli soldiers attempted to uproot a tree on the Lebanese side of the fenced border.

Lebanon's Hizbullah TV, Al-Manar, reported that one Israeli top officer had been killed but there was no immediate confirmation from the Lebanese army or U.N. troops stationed in southern Lebanon.

Later Tuesday, the Israeli military confirmed that a senior Israeli officer was killed during the clashes. The general heading Israel's northern command said earlier that two Israeli "commanders" were wounded.

The dead Lebanese journalist was identified as al-Akhbar newspaper's correspondent Assaf Abu Rahhal.

Four hours after the clashes began at around noon (0900 GMT), the area was reported to be quiet.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman convened an emergency meeting of his top defense officials, while Prime Minister Saad Hariri slammed Israel's "aggression."

Hariri condemned the "violation of Lebanese sovereignty and demands ... the United Nations and the international community bear their responsibilities and pressure Israel to stop its aggression," a statement from his office said.

The Israeli foreign ministry responded with equal force.

"Israel sees the government of Lebanon as responsible for this grave incident and warns of the consequences in the event that disturbances of this kind continue," it said in a statement.

Israel's military too blamed the Lebanese army for the deadly clashes.

"Full responsibility for the incident and its consequences lies with the Lebanese army which disrupted the calm in the area," the military said in a statement in which it acknowledge for the first time that its troops had returned fire with light arms and artillery fire.

"During the afternoon, the Lebanese army opened fire towards an IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) position along the Lebanese border in northern Israel. The force was in Israeli territory, carrying out routine maintenance and was pre-coordinated with UNIFIL," it said, referring to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

Hizbullah took no part in Tuesday's fighting, which erupted in its stronghold.

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was expected to address the incident in an already scheduled and highly anticipated speech on Tuesday night.

Tuesday's clashes marked the deadliest incident along the border since the devastating 2006 war.

A security official in the area told Agence France Presse that the Israeli troops had opened fire first.

"The Israelis fired four shells (from a tank) that fell near a Lebanese army position on the outskirts of the village of Adaysseh and the Lebanese army fired back," the official said, adding that two houses were damaged in the exchange.

Security officials gave varying accounts of the toll from the firefight.

"Three Lebanese soldiers were killed in the clashes today, one journalist was killed and one civilian was wounded," said one security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"We also have reports of one Israeli soldier severely wounded."

Another security official said several Israeli soldiers had been wounded and that Israel was using loudspeakers calling in Arabic for a ceasefire in order to remove casualties.

Al-Manar television said one of its correspondents, Ali Shuaib, had also been lightly wounded.

A Lebanese army spokesman said the clashes erupted after Israeli soldiers attempted to uproot a tree on the Lebanese side of the fenced border.

"The Israelis began to fire and we responded," he said.

An AFP correspondent in Adaysseh said soldiers from the Indonesian contingent serving with the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon tried to no avail to calm the situation before the clashes erupted.

Ambulances rushed to the village as residents panicked with many fleeing.

The Israeli army apparently tried to uproot the large tree with a tractor from their side of the border as it blocked their view.

The U.N. force stationed in southern Lebanon urged "maximum restraint" following the clashes along the so-called blue line, a U.N.-drawn border separating Lebanon from Israel.

"Our immediate priority at this time is to restore calm in the area," Neeraj Singh, spokesman for the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) told AFP.

"Acting force commander Brigadier General Santi Bonfanti is in contact with the command of both the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israeli Defense Forces urging maximum restraint."

He said UNIFIL peacekeepers were in the area where the clashes took place "trying to ascertain the circumstances of the incident and any possible casualties."

Adaysseh is located about 30 kilometers east of the coastal city of Tyre.

Abu Ali, a resident of Adaysseh, said Israeli helicopters could be seen overflying the village some two hours after the incident which erupted shortly after noon (0900 GMT).(Naharnet-AFP) 

 Live Coverage
6:37pm Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel hailed the Lebanese Army for its "heroic posture", calling on the Lebanese diplomacy to conduct "the necessary contacts to cope with the dangerous developments."
6:32pm The Higher Defense Council discussed the clashes in the South and gave the order to confront any attack against Lebanon.
6:30pm The U.N. Security Council will hold private consultations later Tuesday on the fierce clashes between Lebanese and Israeli troops.
6:02pm The Israeli army confirmed that a senior Israeli officer was killed during the border clashes with the Lebanese army.
5:50pm MTV: A verbal quarrel erupted between the residents of the southern town of Adaysseh and a UNIFIL patrol.
5:15pm Aoun: We can create stability in Lebanon once we follow legal and judicial reasoning. I demand the truth but it cannot overlook 10 false witnesses.
5:14pm Aoun: I don’t think the STL can reach an indictment before we tackle the issue of false witnesses. They may thwart the indictment because they hold the true facts of the crime.
5:13pm Aoun: We should complain to the U.N. even though we don’t expect much from it. Today’s events are a crime against the Lebanese army and the U.N. should condemn Israel because it violated resolution 1701.
5:11pm Aoun: I am not pleased with the U.N. as a whole, and not just UNIFIL. It has divided Palestine and never condemned Israel, and the U.S. stands as an obstacle against the condemnation.
5:11pm Aoun: The Lebanese army is charged with deterring attacks and it currently plays the role of defending the border. The Resistance’s role begins when the Israeli forces infiltrate the country.
5:08pm Aoun: We have many questions over how the state’s finances are being handled. Discussing the state budget is very important. We feel as if we are fighting to guarantee that the budget is within legal standards.
5:06pm Aoun: We discussed the state budget and it looks like we have been very lenient with the errors and violations that have been committed in financial management. Most of the decisions were taken in the previous government.
5:05pm Aoun: We urge the President to call Cabinet to an emergency meeting even if the PM is absent. An agreement can be reached with him over the phone so that they may adopt the necessary course in state institutions.
5:04pm Aoun on STL: The false witnesses are an obstacle that is blinding the tribunal, which is why we should try them in order to overcome it.
5:04pm Aoun: The Lebanese army has proven to the whole world that we are determined to defend our right. It is capable of defeating Israel at any moment, as it did in 2006.
5:03pm Aoun: It was said during the national dialogue that Hizbullah cannot be granted the decision of war and peace, and I told them that this decision is not in our hands.
5:02pm MP Aoun: I am not surprised with the Israeli attack, but I am surprised with those who give Israel their trust.
5:01pm Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun: We offer our warmest condolences to the army, Lebanese journalists, and the families of the martyrs who were killed today.
4:12pm The Higher Defense Council will hold an emergency meeting in Baabda to take the necessary stand after the Israeli attack in the South.
3:58pm Syrian President Bashar al-Assad telephoned his Lebanese counterpart Michel Suleiman in solidarity, stressing that "Syria stands by Lebanon in the face of the Israeli attacks."
3:27pm Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman: Israel sees the government of Lebanon as responsible for this grave incident and warns of consequences in the event that disturbances of this kind continue.
3:19pm Al-Manar TV reporter Ali Shuaib was lightly wounded during the clashes.
3:13pm Al-Manar: An Israeli Lieutenant Colonel was killed and an Israeli soldier was seriously wounded.
3:08pm PM Hariri phoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit to follow up on the Israeli attack.
2:53: A Lebanese journalist working for Al-Akhbar newspaper was killed by Israeli shelling.
2:43pm LBC: Unconfirmed reports said that a Lebanese journalist was killed in the border clashes.
2:42pm Speaker Nabih Berri urged the government to file a complaint against Israel at the Security Council.
2:35pm AFP: 3 Lebanese army soldiers were killed and several Israeli casualties were reported in Israel-Lebanon border clash.
2:22pm Manar: A high-ranking Israeli army officer was killed in the shelling and Israeli soldiers were trying to pull him out.
2:20pm LBC: Two Lebanese troops were killed in the Israeli shelling. A Lebanese army APC was also set on fire during the bombardment.
2:19pm Al-Manar: The Lebanese army is combing border areas in an attempt to evacuate its casualties.
2:14pm Al-Jadid: Israel evacuated two of its injured.
2:11pm Hariri asked the U.N. to pressure Israel to implement 1701.
2:10pm Hariri called Suleiman, Qahwaji and UNIFIL from Sardinia to follow up the clashes in the south.
2:08pm PM Saad Hariri condemned the Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty.
2:05pm Future News: Israeli troops called through loudspeakers on the Lebanese army to halt fire so that they can evacuate casualties.
1:55pm Future TV: Lebanese Police closed the road between Adeissheh and Nahhas Hill for the safety of citizens.
1:52pm VDL: Two Israeli shells hit a Lebanese army post in Mashrou’ al-Taybeh.
1:49pm President Michel Suleiman condemned the Israeli aggression which is in the care of the UN.
1:43pm LBC: Intermittent Israeli artillery fire continued to target Adeissheh and its outskirts.
1:42pm Manar: Israeli helicopter gunships are hovering over Adeisseh.
1:34pm al-Jadid TV: An Israeli Apache fired two rockets over Adeisseh.
1:33pm Israeli police spokesman denied rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel.
1:32pm UNIFIL urged Lebanon and Israel "maximum restraint.”
1:30pm Future News: Two Lebanese army soldiers were wounded.
1:09pm The wounded were identified as Hasan Nazzal and Lebanese soldier Ibrahim Abboud.
1:07pm Future News: Two houses were burning in Adeisseh.
1:05pm Manar TV: Security sources: Israeli snipers are firing at the Adeisseh- Kfar Kila road.
1:00pm Israel radio: Two rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel.
12:43pm OTV: 10 artillery rounds fell in Adeisseh, one of which near a Lebanese army post.
12:40pm Future News: A Lebanese soldier and another civilian were injured in the fighting.
12:38am VDL: The clashes erupted after the Israeli army tried to cut some trees inside Lebanese territories.
12:36pm LBC: Israeli tank hit a house in Adeisseh.
12:34pm NNA: Exchange of gunfire between Lebanese and Israeli soldiers along the border town of Adeisseh.
12:31pm MTV: An Israeli tank fired an artillery shell on a Lebanese army position on the outskirts of Adeisseh.
12:30pm Future News: Lebanese and Israeli armies go on alert in Adeisseh.
12:15pm Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir urged expatriates to love their country and visit it.
11:53am Shamstar residents blocked the road that leads to the town to protest water shortage.
11:47am The Construction and Wood Workers Syndicate urged the government to meet their demands.
10:48am The dialogue table on the rights of Palestinians in Lebanon that was scheduled to kick start on Tuesday was postponed to Thursday August 12.
10:20am MP Elie Marouni to Future News: The Berri-Nasrallah talks were part of routine meetings. We shouldn’t necessarily build hope on them.
10:00am Voice of Free Lebanon : Activity of strange, young bearded-men has been monitored in PFLP-GC bases in Qoussaya in the central Bekaa Valley.
9:41am Former Minister Wadih al-Khazen: The visit of Qatar’s emir shows his belief in the people and the resistance.
7:45am The Sidon-Beirut highway will be blocked from 9:00 am till 4:00 pm daily until asphalt works are over. Traffic will be diverted to the old road.
7:30am MP Hani Qobaissi to VDL: The communiqué of the tripartite summit adds positive atmosphere. Stability should continue.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 August 2010 )
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