IAF flyovers put Lebanon on high alert

Arab media: Lebanese army fires at Israeli aircraft carrying out dummy runs over southern Lebanon.

iaf F16 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
iaf F16 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Lebanese army has raised its level of alert over the past 24 hours due to abnormal IAF activity over its territory, Israel Radio quoted Arab media as saying Friday. According to the reports, Israeli aircraft carried out dummy runs over southern Lebanon and the Lebanese army fired at them in response. The reports further stated that the UN had reinforced peacekeeper forces along the border and had appealed to Israel for calm. On Thursday, it was reported that Lebanon had accused Israel of repeatedly violating the terms of UN resolution 1701 - the cease-fire agreement put in place following last summer's Second Lebanon War. In a document sent to the UN, the Lebanese government claimed that in the past four months the IAF had flown more than 290 flyovers across the Lebanese border, while IDF ground forces had committed 52 violations on land. Israel has admitted to the flyover violations, but said their purpose was to prevent the smuggling of weapons to Hizbullah along the Syrian border - also a violation of 1701. "Hizbullah's weapons kill, the flights don't kill anyone," an IDF official told Army Radio on Thursday. In addition, Lebanon says that over one million cluster bombs fired by Israel during the war were still unexploded and were endangering human life. According to the document, the Lebanese government is demanding that Israel disclose - with maps - which areas where specifically targeted with cluster bombs. Finally, Israel was accused of not making a full withdrawal from the northern section of the village of Ghajar. In June, The Jerusalem Post reported that the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) were supposed to arrange security in the northern side of the village - which was to allow for the final withdrawal of IDF troops from the village. According to senior defense officials, it was Lebanon's refusal to sign an agreement brokered by UNIFIL that delayed the final withdrawal of IDF troops, saying that days before the deal was supposed to be signed the LAF pulled out of the agreement. Since the cease-fire that ended last summer's war went into effect, UNIFIL and the Lebanese government have repeatedly called for an Israeli withdrawal, claiming that the IDF presence in the Alawite Muslim village was a severe violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701. Some 400 families, all holders of Israeli blue identity cards, live in the northern section of the village.