Israeli Army asks UNIFIL to disregard war games
Israel has informed U.N. Peacekeepers in Lebanon that its forthcoming major war games would not involve "hostile intentions". Premier Fouad Saniora, though, fears "non-expected penetration"...
Yasmeena Bouziane, spokesperson for the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said the Israeli army has "informed us" that it would only carry out a maneuver that "does not involve any hostile intentions."
The state-run National News Agency (NNA) quoted Bouziane as saying UNIFIL, in cooperation with the Lebanese Army, would closely watch the Blue Line that separates south Lebanon from northern Israel "to prevent any non-expected penetration."
"We would increase our activities in our area of operations, with special emphasis on the Blue Line, and we would maintain our close contacts with all the sides in this regard," she added, according to the Arabic-language NNA report.
Bouziane made the statement a few hours after Premier Fouad Saniora asked UNIFIL to watch out for possible penetration of Lebanon's sovereignty by Israeli troops during the major maneuver that would start on Sunday.
Saniora also cautioned UNIFIL's command against attempts by Israel to "escalate tension along Lebanon's southern borders."
He also cautioned against possible attempts by Israel to violate UNSCR 1701, which ended 34-days of war between Israel and Hizbullah in the summer of 2006.
Saniora urged the Lebanese Army Command to adopt all needed measures to "protect Lebanese citizens and confront any incursion that Israel may launch," the report added without further elaboration. (Source)