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Lebanon Says Israeli Warplanes Flying Over the Country

The Lebanese army says that eight Israeli warplanes have flown over Lebanon’s airspace in a span of 14 hours.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 5/3/2013, 11:31 PM

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The Lebanese army said on Friday that eight Israeli warplanes had flown over Lebanon’s airspace in a span of 14 hours, the Daily Star reported.

The report said that Israel sends reconnaissance jets and warplanes over Lebanon on almost a regular basis, but the air traffic in the last 24 hours has been unusually high.

“At 7:10 p.m. Thursday, two Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace entering above the sea west of Sidon and flying over all Lebanese areas as they conducted aerial maneuvers,” an announcement from the Lebanese army’s general directorate said, according to the Daily Star.

The planes left Lebanon's airspace approximately four hours later above Naqqoura.

Ten minutes before the departure of the first jet group, another two warplanes entered the airspace above the sea west of Jounieh and conducted aerial maneuvers across the country, the report said.

Those jets returned to Israel just after midnight above the southern village of Alma Shaab.

At 12:35 a.m. another sortie of two warplanes entered Lebanese airspace above the sea near Beirut, after which they conducted aerial maneuvers over the country before leaving at 3:15 a.m., according to the Lebanese Army.

At 6 a.m. two more warplanes violated the country’s airspace from above the sea near Beirut and flew over all Lebanese regions and left at 8:50 a.m. above the southern village of Rmeish, the Army said.

Last week an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) penetrated Israeli air space from Lebanon.

The UAV was shot down by Israel about eight kilometers off the coast of Haifa.

Hizbullah was fingered as being behind the incident, but the terror group denied “sending any unmanned drone towards occupied Palestine.” A Lebanese security official has also denied that the drone had been sent from Lebanon.

Following the drone incident it was reported that the Lebanese army had increased its presence along the Lebanon-Israel border.

On Friday, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman urged the international community to pressure Israel to stop violating Lebanese airspace, saying its activities breach the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701.

"We question the UN Security Council, the UN and the powerful nations over Israel's activities,” the president said in a released statement, according to the Naharnet website.

"We call on the international community to pressure Israel to stop its attacks and violations and to commit to abiding by Resolution 1701,” Suleiman stressed.

“These infringements are an attempt to shake Lebanon's stability and are a continuation of the enemy's policy of threatening Lebanon.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)