Lazy eyes listen
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon has accused Israel of attacking a peacekeeping patrol on Saturday, despite the fact that Israel and Hamas were in a brief truce.
The incident happened about midday near the Lebanese village of Aytaroun, close to the Israeli border and 125 km from Beirut, Lebanon’s capital. According to UNIFIL, it occurred “during a period of relative calm along the Blue Line.”
“Today, around 12 pm, a UNIFIL patrol was hit by IDF gunfire in the vicinity of Aytaroun, in southern Lebanon,” the UN peacekeepers said in a statement on their X (formerly Twitter) website, adding that no peacekeepers were injured, but the shelling damaged their vehicle.
Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October, the Israel-Lebanon border has seen frequent exchanges of fire, mainly between the IDF and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. According to AFP news agency, the cross-border fire has killed 109 people in Lebanon, including 77 Hezbollah fighters and 14 civilians, three of whom were journalists.
Last month UNIFIL, which was created by the UN Security Council in 1978 to observe Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, said that one of its members was injured in an artillery strike on the mission’s base near the village of Houla on the border.
Following the announcement of the four-day Gaza truce on Friday, Hezbollah stated that it would follow the terms of the truce if Israel did, according to a Hezbollah source quoted by Al Jazeera.
The UN peacekeeping force strongly denounced the incident on Saturday, calling it “deeply troubling” and urging all parties to “safeguard peacekeepers.” On Friday, UNIFIL warned that further escalation in southern Lebanon might have “devastating consequences,” and asked all parties to “stop this cycle of violence.”
Israel has yet to respond to the event. Previously, the IDF reported that it was targeting Hezbollah targets in reaction to missiles fired into northern Israel.