Barak: Border attack was unplanned

IDF response to incident was "measured, correct and immediate."

ehud barak 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
ehud barak 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday praised the IDF's conduct in the border confrontation with Lebanese forces the previous day.
The IDF's response to the Lebanese army's attack across the border was "measured, correct and immediate," Barak said in an Israel Radio interview, stressing that the isolated incident would not widen into a real crisis.
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Photo gallery: Unrest on the northern border
Barak also stated in the interview that the border confrontation was apparently unplanned and that Hizbullah was not involved in the attack. He cast doubt on the credibility of reports that the attack had been prepared by the Lebanese in advance and that reporters had been invited to watch the events.
During the interview, Barak reiterated Israel's opposition to the transfer of advanced weaponry to the Lebanese army by France and the US. Some of that weaponry was used in the incident on Tuesday, Barak noted.
Mofaz: Border clash was a 'planned terror attack'
Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz on Wednesday called the incident on the Lebanon border a "planned terror attack."
In an interview with Army Radio, the former defense minister added that he had no doubt that Hizbullah was involved in the Lebanese army's actions on the border Tuesday.
Mofaz was very critical of the UNIFIL forces in southern Lebanon, stating that their inability to prevent the Lebanese army from firing on IDF soldiers proves their incompetence.
Also Wednesday, a senior official in Jerusalem told Israel Radio that the Lebanese army had taken advantage of the fact that the IDF delayed maintenance work by several hours near the Lebanese border on Tuesday, in order to plan and prepare an ambush for IDF forces.
According to the report, the IDF told UNIFIL at 6 a.m. on Tuesday that they planned to do maintenance work at approximately 9 a.m. UNIFIL responded that their forces needed time to prepare for the IDF presence in the enclave between the Israeli border and the international border and requested that the IDF delay the maintenance work until 11 a.m. UNIFIL relayed to the Lebanese Army Forces in the area the IDF's plans and the Lebanese used the extra time to prepare an ambush on the IDF forces and to invite journalists and photographers to the site.
The IDF prepared Wednesday to complete the routine maintenance it was conducting on the Lebanese border Tuesday when Lebanese Armed Forces opened fire. A large security force returned to the area of the clash in armored vehicles in order to finish the tree clearing activities.
Facing the first deadly cross-border skirmish in the North since coming into office in March 2009, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that he held the Lebanese government directly responsible for the “violent provocation” that killed one officer and left another seriously wounded.
Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.