IAF denies firing on German warship
Confirms jets were scrambled to area in response to unauthorized helicopter.
By JOSH BRANNON, JPOST STAFF
October 25, 2006 18:53
1 minute read.
IAF jet 298.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
In the wake of the controversy surrounding reports of IAF fighter jets firing on a German warship, IDF sources on Wednesday denied that any shots were fired but admitted that on Tuesday morning there had been an incident in which a German helicopter took off from a warship off the Lebanese coast in an area where, according to agreements, it was required to declare the flight to the IAF.
Since the helicopter failed to follow this procedure, the IAF scrambled its fighter jets towards the area but the problem was solved without confrontation and without any shots being fired, the IDF reported.
Earlier, Defense Minister Amir Peretz spoke to his German counterpart Franz Josef Jung and vehemently denied reports that the IAF had shot on a German naval vessel off the Lebanese coast.
The IDF Spokesperson's Office released a statement stating unequivocally that "contrary to reports, the IDF did not fire at a German warship."
"The defense minister clarified to his German counterpart that Israel did not fire any shots on German planes or ships," said a Defense Ministry statement.
"The defense minister declared that Israel had no intention whatsoever to carry out attacks against German forces," continued the statement, adding that Peretz had stressed to Jung the need to "increase cooperation both directly and in the framework of the UNIFIL peacekeeping force."
The second Lebanon war: JPost.com special report
A German naval task force led by the frigate Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is off the coast of Lebanon seeking to prevent weapons smuggling as part of the UNIFIL peacekeeping force set up to secure a UN-brokered cease-fire that ended 34 days of fighting between Israel and Lebanon-based Hizbullah guerrillas in southern Lebanon on August 14.
Peretz and Jung are scheduled to meet in Israel next week.
AP contributed to this report