IDF, Lebanese forces exchange fire on northern border

Lebanese President calls on country to "stand up to Israel's violation;" reports say IDF soldiers attempted to uproot tree on Lebanon side of border, 2 Lebanese wounded.

IDF on Lebanese border 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
IDF on Lebanese border 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israeli and Lebanese forces clashed along the northern border Tuesday. Lebanese reports said the conflict began when an IDF patrol attempted to uproot a tree on the Lebanese side of the border. Israeli artillery fired on Lebanese positions, and two Lebanese soldiers were reported wounded in the incident.
Initial Israeli reports had said the soldiers were on a routine patrol, operating past the border fence, but within Israeli territory, since the fence does not always exactly parallel the border.
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Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called on the country to "stand up to Israel's violation of UN Resolution 1701 - whatever the cost." Resolution 1701 brokered the cease-fire which ended the 2006 Lebanon War.
One Lebanese soldier and one civilian were wounded in the exchange, according to al-Jazeera, which said the clashes started after Israeli soldiers reportedly attempted to uproot a tree on the Lebanese side. Other reports said the Israeli soldiers were attempting to plant cameras.
"The Israelis fired four rockets that fell near a Lebanese army position in the village of Adaysseh and the Lebanese army fired back," a Lebanese security official in the area told AFP news agency.
A Lebanese officer said after the initial clashes, an Israeli tank fired a shell at the village of Adaysseh.
UNIFIL leaders called on the IDF and the LAF to exercise "maximum restraint" after the incident.
A spokesman for the international peacekeeping force at the Israel-Lebanon border said "the first priority is to calm the region." There were reports of a Katyusha rocket fired into Israel during the clashes, but the claims were not substantiated by the IDF, which said no known falls had occurred in the area.
The attack came a day after six rockets landed near Eilat, including one in Jordan which killed a man outside Aqaba's Intercontinental Hotel .