Israel, Lebanon move to ease tensions from border shootings
By The Associated Press
Published: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, 10:00 p.m.
JERUSALEM — Israel and Lebanon on Monday rushed to ease tensions after a deadly border skirmish that left an Israeli soldier dead, with the enemy countries holding a face-to-face meeting with U.N. peacekeepers and pledging their commitment to a seven-year-old cease-fire.
The U.N. peacekeeping force along the volatile border, UNIFIL, said it called the meeting to “establish the facts and circumstances” behind the flare-up in violence and to restore a cease-fire that has been in place since a 2006 war. It said both sides pledged to preserve “calm and stability.”
In Sunday's incident, a Lebanese sniper opened fire at an Israeli vehicle traveling near the border area of Rosh Hanikra, killing a soldier inside. Several hours later, the Israeli military said it shot two Lebanese soldiers after spotting “suspicious movement” in the same area. It was the heaviest fighting between the enemy countries in more than three years and drew condemnations and threats of retaliation from Israel.
Late Monday, the Lebanese army distanced itself from the incident, saying the shooting was the result of an “individual act” by a soldier.
It said a military committee was investigating the incident and was coordinating with the U.N. peacekeeping mission. With the shooter in custody, there was no word on a motive for the attack and no mention of the two soldiers allegedly shot by Israel. The Lebanese army stressed its full commitment to U.N. resolutions, including maintaining the 2006 cease-fire.
The tame language, and near apology for the incident, was rare for the Lebanese military, which is usually quick to point out Israeli border transgressions.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Teen’s death revives Turkish street demonstrations
- Swedish journalist slain in Kabul
- Western-backed Libyan PM removed
- Guilty verdicts for 3 CIA agents upheld in Italy
- Syrian civil war affects kids the most, U.N. says
- Pistorius’ former friend tells of fits of anger
- Teen’s death sparks protests across Turkey
- Vanished jet’s wild turn adds to mystery
- Pistorius recalled as frantic, faithful moments after shooting
- Malaysian military says missing jet changed course
- Europe prepares to punish Moscow