Liberman phones Spanish FM, says Hezbollah killed Spanish UNIFIL soldier

Liberman said Israel holds the Lebanese government responsible for any attack executed from Lebanon.

January 28, 2015 17:25
1 minute read.
Avigdor Liberman

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks to the press at the United Nations General Assembly. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Hezbollah was behind the northern border attack in which a Spanish UNIFIL soldier was killed, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told his Spanish counterpart Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo during a condolence phone call.

Two IDF soldiers were killed in the same event and another seven were wounded in the same multi-pronged missile attack along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.

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“Hezbollah is responsible for today’s terror incident [in which the Spanish UNIFIL soldiers was killed] and holds the Lebanese government responsible for every attack that is executed from its territory.

Similarly, he said, Israel will not tolerate Hezbollah attacks against it from Syria.

Liberman has instructed Israel’s ambassadors around the world to relay a similar message to their governments.

The envoys are instructed to say that Israel holds the Syrian and Lebanese governments responsible for Hezbollah attacks against Israel from their territory.

The peacekeeper, serving with a UN monitoring force in southern Lebanon, died after the attack as Israel responded with air strikes and artillery fire, a UN spokesman and Spanish officials said.

Andrea Tenenti, spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), said the peacekeeper's death was under investigation. UNIFIL has more than 10,000 peacekeepers.

The United Nations' special coordinator for Lebanon, Dutch diplomat Sigrid Kaag, called on all parties to refrain from any action that could further destabilize the situation.

The frontier has largely been quiet since 2006, when Hezbollah and Israel fought a 34-day war in which 120 people in Israel and more than 500 in Lebanon were killed.

Since the end of the war with Hamas militants in Gaza last year, Israel has warned of frictions on the northern border, including the possibility that Hezbollah might dig tunnels to infiltrate the Jewish state. In recent days it has moved more troops and military equipment into the area.

Reuters contributed to this report

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