Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Muqata, Israellycool liveblogging attack on Lebanese border (updated)

Details are sketchy but there was a "massive" exchange of fire between the IDF and Lebanese forces. The Muqata is liveblogging, and so is Aussie Dave.

So far it looks like 4 Lebanese killed, including a journalist. Lebanese media report an Israeli soldier was killed and one seriously wounded.

AP released this photo, saying that it shows an Israeli soldier on the Lebanese side of the border, possibly installing a camera in what might have been the spark that started the fire. The Muqata points out that the border fence is not exactly along the route of the Blue Line and the soldier was inside the border itself.

The IDF says "The border area is east of the Israeli town Metula. The incident occurred west of the internationally recognized "Blue Line" (the border between Israel and Lebanon) and east of the security fence, thus lying in Israeli territory."

UPDATE: Both Muqata and Israellycool are uncovering some disturbing wire service photos that seem to imply that UNIFIL was on the scene during the incident. The fact that there are photos from what seem to be beforehand (like the one above) makes this look a little like this incident was pre-planned, with both UNIFIL and media knowledge. I'm no fan of conspiracy theories, but the time to research these issues is now, not months from now. It is not as if we haven't seen cooperation between Hezbollah, UNIFIL and the media before.

UPDATE 2: Commenter David sends us this photo from Ha'aretz showing blue-bereted UN "peacekeepers" next to Lebanese forces, although I don't know the timeframe.

Ha'aretz also confirms the Israeli soldier killed,  45-year-old Lt. Col. Dov Harari, from Netanya.

UPDATE 3: From Israel Matzav:
Israel Radio reports (6:00 pm) that Northern sector commander Gadi Eizencott ... said was that the IDF was ambushed while doing work, they returned fire, then stopped firing to let the LAF (at the LAF's request) retrieve bodies and wounded, and then got 'sucker punched' with an RPG shot at a tank.