Lebanon: UN reports Israeli air violations; Lebanese fire anti-aircraft round
21 February 2007 – The Lebanese Army fired a round of anti-aircraft weapons today and there were a number of Israeli air violations over the United Nations peacekeepers’ area of operation in the southern part of the country, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) reported.
UNIFIL continues to monitor the situation in its area of operation and will release more details of this and other reported incidents as they become available, the mission said in a statement.
The incidents followed an exchange of fire between Israeli and Lebanese forces earlier this month when Lebanon violated Security Council resolution 1701 that ended last summer’s war between Israel and Hizbollah by opening fire on a bulldozer on the Israeli side of the Blue Lien separating the two countries. Israel then breached the resolution by crossing the Blue Line.
UNIFIL Commander Major General Claudio Graziano last week met with senior Lebanese and Israeli military officers on steps to prevent any such recurrence.
Under resolution 1701 UNIFIL, first created in 1978 to confirm an Israeli withdrawal after an earlier incursion, was greatly enhanced to monitor the ceasefire after Israel’s 34-day war against Hizbollah last summer; support the Lebanese army as it deployed throughout south Lebanon; and extend assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.
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