Friday, September 29, 2006

UNIFIL tanks block IDF force

This is precisely the type of stance that UNIFIL soldiers must take to sustain their credibility with both sides. Lebanon: UNIFIL tanks block IDF force - News from Israel, Ynetnews:

"An IDF force, including tanks, a bulldozer and a number of vehicles was blocked on Thursday by French UNIFIL troops at the outskirts of the south Lebanese village of Marwahin, near the border with Israel.
"According to reports, the IDF force asked to advance deeper into Lebanese territory, but was stopped about 500 meters from the road leading to the village by four UNIFIL tanks manned by French soldiers as two Israeli Merkava tanks operated nearby on Lebanese soil, setting up checkpoints.
"AFP reported that Israeli soldiers confiscated the identity cards of photographers at the scene, claiming they may give pictures of the Israeli military to Hizbullah members.
"Earlier in the week IDF and UNIFIL representatives discussed the issue of the village of Rajar, which is partly controlled by Israel and partly on the Lebanese side; the parties have yet to agree on ways to transfer information between UNIFIL and the IDF and on regulations for opening fire.
"Contrary to previous estimations, the negotiations for the withdrawal of the last IDF soldiers from Lebanon have not been completed."
"'We are postponing the transfer of territories until an agreement is reached,' Halutz said recently. 'We cannot end this within a day or two.'
"The army chief made it clear that the IDF had issued a warning to the Lebanese army that any use of military equipment in the area, including intelligence means, would constitute a violation of the ceasefire resolution.
"We conveyed a message that we will operate against any conduct suspected to be a terrorist activity," he said."

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