The US warned Lebanon that if it did not prevent any recurrence of the border-fire incident that occurred earlier this month, the IDF would destroy the Lebanese Armed Forces within four hours, Israel Radio cited a report by Lebanese newspaper A-Liwaa on Friday.

According to the report, Frederick Hoff, assistant to US Middle East Peace Envoy George Mitchell, told Lebanese Army chief of staff Jean Kahwaji that Israel was ready to implement a plan to destroy within four hours all Lebanese military infrastructure, including army bases and offices, should a similar confrontation occur in the future.

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IDF Lt.-Col. (res.) Dov Harari, 45, was killed and Capt. (res.) Ezra Lakia was seriously wounded, as well three LAF soldiers and one Lebanese journalist killed, when both sides exchanged fire after IDF soldiers attempted to cut down a tree on the Israeli side of the border.

The IDF had informed the UNIFIL peacekeeping force along the border ahead of time of the intended tree-clearing operation.

UNIFIL later confirmed that the IDF troops were on the Israeli side of the border when the incident occurred, contradicting LAF claims that Lebanese sniper fire directed at the Israeli troops had been justified by an incursion upon Lebanese territory.

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