Israel Lebanon clash.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
A UNIFIL official in southern Lebanon confirmed Wednesday that the IDF informed the organization of its intention to conduct routine maintenance work Tuesday in the area between Israel's border fence and the international border where Lebanese Army forces opened fire on IDF soldiers, killing Lt.-Col. (res) Dov Harari, Army Radio reported.
RELATED:PM: Lebanon responsible for border clashNetanya family mourns border casualty
"I can confirm that we received notification from the IDF about the work and we passed the information on to the Lebanese Army," said the Hungarian diplomat who is part of the UNIFIL force in southern Lebanon.
He added that UNIFIL does not believe IDF soldiers crossed the international border during the maintenance work, but a UNIFIL technical team will investigate Wednesday where the IDF forces were exactly in relation to the border when the Lebanese Army snipers opened fire.
The UN Security Council held a special discussion on Tuesday in response
to Israel's complaint that the Lebanese Army's actions were a violation
of UNSC Resolution 1701, which put an end to the Second Lebanon War in
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he was worried about the
incident and sorry about the loss of life on both sides. He called on
both Lebanon and Israel to excercise restraint to avoid further
The violence began around noon, when a force from Harari’s reserve
battalion entered an enclave along the border and near Kibbutz Misgav Am
to conduct the maintenance work. Enclaves refer to land that is
sovereign Israeli territory but is on the other side of the border
fence, which does not always run directly parallel to the
internationally recognized border, known as the Blue Line.
The soldiers were working to cut down a tree when shots were fired in
their direction. Capt. Ezra Lakia was shot in the chest by a Lebanese
Army sniper, and Harari was shot in the head.
The IDF responded with heavy tank fire at an Lebanese position just over
the border, killing three soldiers and a Lebanese journalist. Lebanese
soldiers then fired rocket-propelled grenades at an Israeli tank south
of the border.
IDF artillery began pounding the area, and a number of IAF attack
helicopters were dispatched to bomb a Lebanese Armed Forces command
center in the southern Lebanese town of Taiba. The center was heavily
damaged, as were a number of LAF armored personnel carriers parked
The IDF was scheduled to participate in a trilateral meeting with UNIFIL
and Lebanese Armed Forces representatives at Nakoura, Lebanon on
Wednesday to discuss Tuesday’s border clash.
The trilateral meeting will attempt to create guidelines that will prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.