UN says trees causing clashes with Lebanon in Israeli side   2010-08-04 16:48:21 FeedbackPrintRSS

 An Israeli helicopter is seen evacuating one of injured soldiers from the northern border, Aug 3,2010. Israeli and Lebanese armies exchanged fire along the border on Tuesday, and initial reports said there are injuries on the Lebanese side. (Xinhua/Jini)

BEIRUT, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said Wednesday the trees cut down by Israeli troops which probably led to the deadly border clashes with Lebanon were on the Israeli side of the shared border.

UNIFIL military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Naresh Bhatt said in a statement that trees cut down by Israeli troops were on the Israeli side.

UNIFIL has determined that the trees cut by Israeli troops are located south of the Blue Line on the Israeli sides, he said, referring to a UN-drawn border line between Israel and Lebanon after the withdrawal of the Israeli army from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Lebanon has said the clashes erupted after Israeli soldiers reportedly attempted to uproot a tree near the villages of Adaisseh and Kuferkilla on the Lebanese side of the border, according to pan-Arab al-Jazeera TV.

"The Israelis fired four rockets that fell near a Lebanese army position in the village of Adaisseh and the Lebanese army fired back," a Lebanese security official in the area said.

But Israeli sources claimed that the Israeli troops who were clearing bushes between the Israeli community of Misgav Am and the Lebanese village of Adaisseh were fired at by Lebanese soldiers and they fired back.

The UNIFIL statement added that the area where the clashes took place was a subject of reservation by the Lebanese government when the Blue Line was drawn.

The Israeli government had similar reservations about other sites, the statement noted. However, Lebanon and Israel assured UN secretary general that despite these reservations, they recognize that the drawing of Blue Line is UN's responsibility and that it is the only side eligible to draw this line, and stressed that they will respect this line as it is, the statement said.

"The investigations are still ongoing and the findings will be intimated on conclusion of the investigations," the statement said.

The statement also stressed that the "Blue Line must be respected in its entirety by all parties. UNIFIL is in contact with both the parties to keep the situation under control and to ensure that there is no violation of the Blue Line in this area.

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts


Editor: Pliny
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