UNIFIL: Lebanon Was Wrong

Lebanon's version regarding the deadly attack on IDF officers earlier this month was untrue, UNIFIL announced in its final report.

Chana Ya'ar, | updated: 19:34

Lebanon border
Lebanon border
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Lebanese soldiers shot IDF troops in an unprovoked attack earlier this month, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) announced Wednesday, as it released the findings of its investigation into the incident.

The Israeli soldiers were carrying out routine maintenance on August 3 when shots rang out from across the border in southern Lebanon. IDF reservist Lt.-Col. Dov Harari was killed instantly, and a second officer was critically wounded in the attack. Three Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist were killed when the IDF soldiers returned fire to the source of the attack.

The incident was the most serious to take place since Israel signed the ceasefire agreement that ended the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Although Lebanon claimed Israeli soldiers had crossed the border into Lebanese territory, its allegations were not supported by the evidence, said UNIFIL, which found the IDF troops had remained on the Israeli side of the international “blue line” border set by the United Nations.

UNIFIL added that “both IDF and the Lebanese Army (LAF) cooperated fully with the investigation. The report confirms the preliminary conclusions of UNIFIL.”

The report, which was sent Tuesday to the United Nations, was forwarded to both countries on Wednesday.

“UNIFIL’s investigative report is a result of professional and impartial work. It is based on the facts and all the evidence available to UNIFIL at this stage,” said UNIFIL commander Maj.-Gen. Alberto Asarta Cuevas in a statement.

“We hope the report will assist the parties to prevent the recurrence of such a serious and tragic incident. I emphasized to both sides that the incident of August 3 must remain an isolated event,” he added.