Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Lebanon border shootings could ignite region"

This just in from the Jerusalem Post:

Israel to UN: Lebanon border shootings could ignite region

Envoy to UN Prosor writes letter to Ban Ki-moon saying Lebanon violated ceasefire with Israel when one of its soldiers opened fire on IDF troops; "Such attacks carry with them a serious potential for escalation."

Israel on Tuesday complained to United Nations about a series of cross-border shootings from Lebanon which it said threatened to destabilize the region.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor said Lebanon violated its ceasefire with Israel when one of its soldiers opened fire on a group of Israeli Defense Forces troops on Monday.

“We also call upon the international community to take action to prevent further provocations, conveying a clear message to the Government of Lebanon that such attacks are not only in violation of Security Council Resolution 1701, but also carry with them a serious potential for escalation, threatening peace and stability in this area,” he said.

Subsequently, we see a response from Hezbollah - and if the increasing rhetoric is any indication, things could escalate:

'Attack on LAF shows arrogant nature of Zionist entity'

The gunfire exchange between the IDF and Lebanese Armed Forces near the Hatzbani River on the Lebanese border shows "the true aggressive nature of the Zionist entity," UPI reported a Hezbollah statement as saying on Monday. The group called the incident "surprising and provocative."

IDF troops were operating along the border near the Hatzbani River when a Lebanese soldier opened fire at them. Israel returned fire at the Lebanese soldier. No IDF soldiers were injured in the incident. Lebanese media reported that one Lebanese soldier was injured from gunfire.

It sounds like Hezbollah is doing the provoking here, and if so, the immediate question becomes "why?"

Why is Hezbollah deciding to provoke Israel at this time, and will this continue?

The IDF reported the incident to the UNIFIL force stationed in Lebanon along the border, stating that Israel was not interested in an escalation of violence.

The army added that they believed the incident was contained and it did not appear that a larger operation would follow.

Perhaps. We shall see - but this is the second time an incident like this has happened over a two week period, according to the first article above.

This will be interesting to follow, for the possibility of further developments.

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