IDF Fires at Lebanese Vessel

A Lebanese fishing vessel entered a restricted Israeli maritime zone and prompted IDF warning shots. Israeli planes allegedly flew over Lebanon.

Chana Ya'ar, | updated: 11:46

Israeli Navy warship
Israeli Navy warship
Israel news photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office

A Lebanese fishing vessel entered a restricted Israeli maritime zone Saturday, prompting the IDF to fire warning shots. The IDF confirmed the Lebanese vessel entered the restricted waters and ignored orders by the navy to turn back to its own territory.

In response, the Lebanese Army issued a statement claiming that Israel “dared to open fire at 4:00 a.m. as part of continued violations” of the United Nations ceasefire Resolution 1701 that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

No damage was caused to the fishing vessel, according to IDF spokesmen, and no one was injured in the incident, the second in less than a week between Israeli and Lebanese forces.

Lebanon Complaints of IAF Flyovers Preceded Incident

The incident with the fishing vessel came less than 12 hours after an alleged flyover by two Israel Air Force aircraft, according to a report broadcast Saturday by Press TV.

The Lebanese Army issued a statement complaining that Israeli military planes broke the sound barrier over villages in eastern Lebanon. 

According to the statement, an IAF fighter jet and a reconnaissance plane crossed into Lebanese air space Friday at 6:00 p.m. The planes allegedly flew around the eastern town of Baalbek, some 86 km (54 miles) northeast of Beirut, and did not leave until four hours later. 

Second Lebanese-Israeli Gunfire Incident in a Week

Last week, Lebanese Army regulars ambushed an IDF battalion carrying out routine maintenance work along the northern border of Israel. One Israeli officer was killed and a second was critically wounded by a Lebanese army sniper. Three Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist were killed, and a second journalist was injured, when the IDF returned fire.

Lebanon claimed the Israeli troops were on the Lebanese side of the border as they worked to remove a tree that was blocking Israel's view of a border village. However, it was clearly documented, and later confirmed by UNIFIL troops, that the IDF soldiers were on Israel's side of the border.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) also confirmed it had received prior notice of the IDF's plans, and that it had then forwarded those plans to the Lebanese Army.