The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today protested the 14 Israeli air violations it observed, including two by F-15 jets flying at low altitude, and called for their immediate halt.
Eleven of the incidents occurred in the area of operations of the French battalion. A UN spokesman reported that the anti-aircraft unit of the French battalion took initial preparatory steps to respond to the Israeli actions, in accordance with UNIFIL rules of engagement and UN Security Council resolution 1701. That text ended the 34-day war between Israel and Hizbollah and expanded the size and scope of the Force.
Maj. Gen. Alain Pellegrini, the UNIFIL Force Commander, strongly protested to the Israeli authorities and asked them to cease these actions, which are unacceptable and in violation of resolution 1701, spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.
Asked about France’s response to the overflights, he said that thankfully, nothing happened and no one was hurt. However, he added, the incident served as a reminder, at a tense moment in Lebanon, of why such overflights must cease: because of the chance that events could spin out of control.