An Israeli soldier was killed today when Lebanese forces opened fire along the two countries’ volatile border, Israeli military officials said.
The officials said that shots were fired at a military vehicle traveling along the border, and that the sniper was a member of the Lebanese military.
Andrea Tenenti, a spokesman for U.N. forces in southern Lebanon, said the United Nations was informed of a “serious incident along the blue line around Ras Naqoura.” He said that the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has had a mandate since 1978 to prevent hostilities between the two countries, was in contact with both the Lebanese and Israeli armies, and that they were cooperating.
“The incident happened on the Israeli side of the blue line,” he said, referring to a U.N.-drawn line demarcating the border between the two enemy states.
Tenenti declined to provide further details, saying UNIFIL was still attempting to determine exactly what had happened.
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesman, said Israel had protested “this outrageous breach of Israel’s sovereignty” with U.N. peacekeeping forces, and heightened its state of preparedness.
“We will not tolerate aggression against the state of Israel, and maintain the right to exercise self-defense against perpetrators of attacks against Israel and its civilians,” he said.