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Israel-Lebanon border tensions mount

08-05-2010 09:13 BJT

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The Israeli government is threatening a forceful response to further attacks on the country's soldiers, following Tuesday's deadly clashes with Lebanese troops.

The border conflict was prompted by a tree cutting dispute. Both countries claim the tree was in their territory.

Debate over who should be responsible for causing the clashes remains.

UN peacekeepers say a cypress tree an Israeli soldier was cutting down was in Israel's territory, south of an official, UN-drawn boundary known as the Blue Line separating the two countries.

However, the Lebanese Information Minister says his country disputes the Blue Line demarcation in certain areas and sees Israel's act as a clear provocation.

Tarek Mitri, Lebanese Information Minister, said, "The Lebanese side thought that was a provocation, informed UNIFIL, who asked the Israelis to delay the operation. But the Israelis waited for an hour or two and then went on with the operation as planned, rather than accept to delay. So the Lebanese perceived the action to be a provocation"

Israel agrees with the UN assessment that the tree was in Israel's territory.

Ilan Dikshtien, Isreali Army Feild Commander, said, "Our act of coordination, which we try to do regularly in the fenced area, was used in a cynical way by the other side that was prepared. They took advantage of our preliminary coordination, they were prepared in advance, and opened with accurate sniper fire on our forces,"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is threatening a forceful response to further attacks.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, said, "Unprovoked attacks on our soldiers are blatant acts of aggression. That's why Israel expects the international community to condemn such attacks in the strongest possible terms."

Tuesday's clash left a senior Israeli officer, two Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist dead and was the most serious since Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah fought a brief war in 2006.

Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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