congressman ron klein 311.
(photo credit: courtesy)
WASHINGTON – A Florida congressman is seeking an investigation into whether
American equipment was used by Lebanese forces who fired on Israel last week or
if the soldiers had received US-funded training.
RELATED:Suleiman vows better weaponsEditorial: US has it wrong on Lebanon'Obama had a learning curve'
Democrat Rep. Ron Klein,
a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, requested the investigation in
a letter sent to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday.
would like to formally and respectfully request an investigation into the
incident on the Lebanese-Israeli border,” Klein wrote, referring to Israel’s
brush-clearing activity on Tuesday that triggered an attack from Lebanese
soldiers on the IDF, killing one officer and seriously wounding
Israel returned fire and killed three Lebanese troops and a
“In addition, if the Lebanese government had authorized this
attack, I would be very concerned about continuing to provide military support
to Lebanon,” Klein wrote.
The US has provided $600 million in aid to the
Lebanese military, largely for education and training, as well as some US-made
equipment, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters on
Asked about Klein’s concerns, which had appeared in The
Jerusalem Post before his letter was sent, Crowley responded, “We provide
support to Lebanon because it is in our interest to do so.
We do so in
close cooperation with the international community for the express purpose of
improving the government of Lebanon’s security capability, protecting its
sovereignty, and contributing to broad security across the
Despite media reports that American guns might have been used by
the Lebanese soldiers who fired at the IDF force, Crowley stressed, “We have no
indication that US equipment played any role in this incident earlier this
He also said, “In any US-origin equipment that’s been provided to
Lebanon, we have very strong end-use monitoring to make sure it is used
Klein’s letter came after violent incidents in three
Israeli regions, including rocket attacks on Ashkelon and Eilat. The
latter prompted the State Department to upgrade its travel warnings to
“US citizens in Eilat and southern Israel are advised to
ascertain the location of the nearest bomb shelter,” the new directive
Amid the flaring tensions between Israel and its neighbors, the
Obama administration is intensifying its efforts to get the Palestinian
Authority to negotiate directly with Israel.
US President Barack Obama
discussed the issue in a phone call on Friday with British Prime Minister David
Cameron, which also touched on other hotspots including Turkey and
According to a statement put out by the White House, the two
leaders “agreed on the need for the parties to move to direct talks as soon as