The acting United Nations Security Council President Gérard Araud ( France) on Monday, Dec. 16, issued a statement on behalf of the Security Council. In the statement, the Security Council labeled “deplorable” the shooting death of 31 year old Staff Sargent Major Shlomi Cohen, an Israel Defense Forces soldier, by a Lebanese soldier. The incident occurred the day before, in the north of Israel, near the Lebanese border.
The statement by the Security Council called for “calm and continued restraint by all parties.”
On Monday, the IDF and the Lebanese Armed Forces, along with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) met in order to fully develop the facts relating to the shooting death.
The two parties, according to the Security Council statement, reaffirmed their commitment to “the cessation of hostilities” and expressed their continued commitment to preserving “calm and stability along the Blue Line.”
The Blue Line is the U.N. drawn demarcation line between Israel and Lebanon.
UNIFIL confirmed the Lebanese Government’s preliminary findings indicating that the shooting was an individual action by one Lebanese soldier.
At least the Security Council was more even-handed than many mainstream media accounts the headlines of which screamed: “Israel troops shoot two Lebanese soldiers in border skirmish,” the subheadline reading: “Shooting took place hourse after Israeli soldier was killed by Lebanese sniper on Sunday,” as found in London’s Guardian. The Times (UK) headline was “Israeli troops shoot two Lebanese soldiers in border reprisal.”
The U.N. is hopeful that calm will return to the region. The shooting attacks violate the UN ceasefire agreement which ended the 2006 Lebanon War, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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