web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘unifil’

Israeli Planes Fly over Southern Lebanon after Murder of Soldier

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Lebanese media reported that Israeli warplanes carried out surveillance flights over southern Lebanon in Tuesday, as Lebanese, United Nations and Israeli officials try to keep the lid on tensions following Sunday night’s murder of Israel soldier Sgt. Shlomi Cohen by a Lebanese soldier.

The Air Force frequently sends planes into Lebanese air space to monitor Hezbollah terrorist activities.

Lebanese media also reported that its army will prosecute the soldier who “acted on his own” when he opened fire on Sgt. Cohen and killed him.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati described it as “an isolated incident of limited scope,” but a similar “isolated incident” occurred three years ago when Lebanese soldiers shot and killed an Israeli officer and wounded a soldier.

 

UN Security Council Condemns Lebanese Sniper Attack on Israeli

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

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.

 

Lebanon Says Its Soldier Acted on His Own to Kill Sgt. Cohen

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Lebanese shirked from responsibility for the murder of Sgt. Shlomi Cohen and explained that the Lebanese soldier who shot and killed him acted on his own.

UNIFIL confirmed the Lebanese claim and said, “All the circumstances of this incident are not clear at this time, but preliminary findings indicate that it was an individual action by a soldier in contravention of the existing operational rules and procedures.”

The IDF is conducting its own investigation amid questions of why Sgt. Cohen was traveling alone and in an unprotected vehicle.

Maj. Gen. Paolo Serra, head of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, said that the shooting “must remain an isolated incident.” Serra convened an emergency meeting with Lebanese and Israeli officers after the shooting to ease tensions.

Israel filed a complaint to the United Nations, and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the murder.

Hezbollah Claims It Ambushed Four IDF Soldiers

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Hezbollah claims it “ambushed” the four soldiers who allegedly crossed the Lebanese border between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning and suffered light to moderate wounds from two explosions. An IDF spokesman told The Jewish Press on the report, “No comment.”

The Hezbollah-linked Lebanese Al Akhbar daily reported Thursday, “The enemy blundered when they violated the border with Lebanon, and fell into a trap that only the resistance could set. Only Hezbollah can make bombs that blow up Israelis.”

The claim can be discounted to a large extent because it was issued 24 hours after the incident, and Hezbollah probably took advantage of the information vacuum to score propaganda points.

On the other hand, the IDF’s silence leaves open the possibility for speculation. The most desirable scenario is that the elite combat soldiers were on a patrol beyond the border fence, which in some places is several hundred feet inside the border or at a disputed area. It is heavily mined, and the land mines that exploded may have been planted long ago instead of being part of an ambush.

The Lebanese army stated that the “Israel enemy had infiltrated  approximately 1,300 feet beyond the fence, and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said there was blood at the scene.

The IDF unit, which UNIFIL said was comprised of 10 soldiers, retreated with the wounded soldiers and with the aid of light flares, and were rushed to a hospital in Nahariya, on the Mediterranean Coast.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commented after the incident, “Our soldiers defend us and our borders, which is what they were doing last night. We will continue to react to defend Israel’s borders.”

Lebanon said it will file a complaint with the United Nations Security Council for a “blatant violation of Lebanese sovereignty and of UN resolution 1701”, which ended the second Lebanese war in 2006. Hezbollah was supposed to have been disarmed, according to the same agreement.

Missing UNIFIL Officer May Be a Canadian

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

The missing United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) legal adviser Carl Campeau, who was reported to be kidnapped, is a Canadian, according to sources quoted by the Times of Israel.

He originally was thought to be from Austria and reportedly was kidnapped nearly three weeks ago from an outpost near the Golan Heights border.

It is not known who kidnapped the legal adviser, where he was taken and if there has been any contact with him or his captors.

The UN has confirmed that one of its officers is missing, and Canadian Embassy told the newspaper, “We are pursuing all appropriate channels to seek further information.” Canada did not confirm that Campeau is the missing officer.

Sky: UN Adviser Kidnapped in Syria near Israeli Border

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Unknown terrorists kidnapped a United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) legal adviser on February 7 from an outpost near the border between the Golan Heights and Syria, the Arabic channel of Sky News reported Monday night.

The report has not been verified, and there are no details concerning who kidnapped the victim, Carl Kampo from Austria, and where he was taken. A media outlet in Lebanon and affiliated with Hizbullah also reported the kidnapping.

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces have lost control of several villages near the Israeli border. Rebels have taken over some of the towns, and the IDF has learned that international terrorists also have infiltrated and are preparing to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack.

The IDF recently replaced reservists with regular army elite troops because of the potential for attacks, the website of Yediot Acharonot reported.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, was created by the United Nations, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 on 19 March 1978, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon which Israel had invaded five days prior, restore international peace and security, and help the Government of Lebanon restore its effective authority in the area.

The first UNIFIL troops were deployed in the area on 23 March 1978; these troops were reassigned from other UN peacekeeping operations in the area (namely the United Nations Emergency Force and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone).

Expect Bad Things in Southern Lebanon

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

While the diplomatic and political battle to get the European Union face up to who Hezbollah is and what it does goes on, there’s a different battle shaping up, and not for the first time, in which Hezbollah is one of the parties. It’s less diplomatic and less political. But it’s certainly a battle.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL [background here], was created in 1978 to restore peace and security in the area of the Israel/Lebanon border, and to help Lebanon’s government re-assert its authority on the Lebanese side of that border. Various combinations of national troops serving under the U.N. flag have served there since March 1978. They do this under a mandate renewed annually by the U.N. Security Council; the mandate expires on 31 August 2013.

Following the intense fighting in 1976 between Israel and the Hezbollah forces (here we call that the Second Lebanese War), the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1701 to end that phase of the still-continuing conflict. (We wrote a lot during the period of that war; you might want to review “31-Jul-06: Additional Reasons Never to Turn Your Back on these Thugs” as an illustration of how things looked then).

Resolution 1701 enlarged the number of forces under UNIFIL command to 15,000. They were to be deployed south of Lebanon’s Litani River, close to and on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel, and to assist the Lebanese Armed Forces address the task euphemistically called to “implement the Lebanese government’s sovereignty.” UNIFIL was mandated to “take all the necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces, and as it deems with its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind.” [source]

This never really worked out as the world – OK, Israel – thought it would. That much was almost immediately clear when Kofi Annan, then secretary-general of the U.N., declared in August 2006 that UNIFIL would refrain from intercepting arms shipments from Syria unless requested to do so by Lebanon. Meanwhile Lebanon became de facto a captive of Hezbollah and Syria’s influence on Lebanese affairs became more open and blatant. Hezbollah flaunted the U.N.’s decisions (see this list) as well as the presence of UN forces, and quietly but very steadily and determinedly built up a vast resource of offensive weapons that it pointed at Israel from deeply embedded emplacements in the villages of South Lebanon.

We’re now nearly seven years later. Seven weeks ago, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. sent a letter to the Ban Ki Moon and to the president of the Security Council demanding that Resolution 1701 be enforced. But the influence of the U.N. and its UNIFIL forces on events, particularly on preserving the peace and implementing the Lebanese government’s sovereignty, is pretty largely treated as a joke in these parts.

But not a very funny joke, as the following report from Ron Ben-Yishai, Yediot Aharonot’s respected observer of such matters, shows. It was posted on the Ynet site late Sunday night.

Hizbullah Moves into South Lebanon Villages
Ynet February 10, 2013
In January, looking into south Lebanon, I noticed that hundreds of new buildings had been built in Bint Jbeil, Maroun al-Ras, Aita al-Shaab and Barmish. Even without binoculars it was evident that the Shiite communities have expanded significantly compared with the few Christian-Maronite villages in the area, which remained the same size. Hizbullah has moved from its bases in “nature preserves” to the villages from which it can launch rocket or other attacks against Israel.
Hizbullah purchased land on the outskirts of the villages, built homes and offered them to poor Shiite families at bargain prices, on condition that a rocket launcher would be placed in one of the rooms or in the basement, along with a number of rockets, which will be fired at predetermined targets in Israel when the order is given.
In addition, Hizbullah has set up camouflaged defense positions in villages which contain advanced Russian-made anti-tank missiles it had received from Syria. Hizbullah has also planted large explosive devices along the access roads. In this manner some 180 Shiite villages between the Zahrani River and the border with Israel have been converted into fighting zones for the next conflict with Israel… Despite the fact that there are those in Israel who claim that the deterrence achieved against Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War has been eroded, it is fairly clear that at this point Nasrallah’s organization does not want to get involved in a major conflict with the Jewish state. Lebanon’s national elections are scheduled for June, and Hezbollah does not want its political legitimacy and dominance to be challenged because it dragged the country into a devastating war with Israel. There is enough tension and violent clashes between Shiites and the Lebanese Sunnis, who are assisting the Syrian rebels trying to topple Assad. However, it is also possible that Hezbollah will decide to attack us with full force if it gets the impression that Israel is planning to attack it first. As strange as it sounds to Israelis ears, Hezbollah sees us as an unpredictable and treacherous country that is capable of launching a preemptive surprise attack. (more)

The next conflict with Israel. It’s an expression you hear a lot. We don’t know many (any) Israelis who want to see that happen, but when you watch the speeches of Nasrallah, the goose-stepping, Heil Hitler-style saluting of his troops, the IDF intelligence estimates of how many tens of thousands of rockets they have in their control in a thousand different locations in those south Lebanese villages – all pointing in our direction – it doesn’t leave much room for optimism.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/this-ongoing-war/expect-bad-things-in-southern-lebanon/2013/02/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: