On Tuesday, NNA, the Lebanese news agency, cited the Lebanese army command’s announcement: “On 12/5/2023, an army military position in the Nabi Awayda area, Odaisseh, was subjected to shelling by the Israeli enemy, which led to the martyrdom of a soldier and the injury of 3 others, who were transferred to a hospital for treatment.”
According to the IDF on Tuesday, “Earlier today, IDF soldiers operated in self-defense to eliminate an imminent threat that had been identified from Lebanon. The threat was identified within a known launch area and observation point of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, near al-Awadi. Hezbollah’s activities in Lebanon are in clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701. The IDF was notified that soldiers from the Lebanese Armed Forces were harmed during the strike. The Lebanese Armed Forces were not the target of the strike. The IDF expresses regret over the incident. The incident is under review.”
The obvious question in this case is not why the IDF killed the Lebanese soldier and injured three others, but what were those four Lebanese soldiers doing inside a Hezbollah compound that was firing on Israeli civilians?
The event was part of the routine of the past sixty days: Hezbollah fires on Israeli targets beyond the border fence, in clear and repeated violation of the 2006 UNSC 1701 resolution; and the IDF returns fire, either shelling or bombing from the air the source of the shooting.
In that context, the fact that at least four Lebanese soldiers were collaborating with Hezbollah terrorists (presumably there were more of them on hand who were not killed or injured), should be the subject of an Israeli complaint to the UNSC, not an IDF apology.
The apology suggests that an element inside the IDF, especially in the Spokesperson’s office, is still dedicated to promoting the notion that the Israeli army is the most moral on the planet. This is not a show of strength, as some would have us believe, but of sickness. It was the reason why tank crews who were positioned along the Gaza border fence on October 7 did not fire on the crowds of “civilians” who were breaking through the fence in more than 60 locations.
The task of an army is to kill the enemy. It is restrained by the rules of war which prevent mass executions of non-combatants, rape, torture, and robbery. But when the adherence to largely imagined rules of war threatens to quell the army’s ability to kill the enemies and protect Israeli civilians, it is not morality but an extreme case of immorality.