UNIFIL: IDF had coordinated previously and was operating within Israeli territory

UNIFIL Commander’s political advisor explains LAF’s blatant violation of UN Resolution 1701: “The Israelis pruned a tree south of the Blue Line…The IDF (Zahal) coordinated the pruning work with the Lebanese army through UNIFIL.”

Date: 04/08/2010, 4:27 PM     Author: Arnon Ben-Dror

In an interview on Wednesday morning (Aug. 4) with Israeli Army Radio, Hungarian diplomat Milos Strugar, who is serving as the political advisor to the UNIFIL commander, explained that the work carried out by the IDF (Zahal) along the border with Lebanon took place within Israeli territory and was coordinated ahead of time with the Lebanese army. “The Israelis pruned a tree south of the Blue Line.” Strugar continued, “The pruning was done in the area of the Al-Adaisah village, north of Misgav-Am. A UNIFIL technical crew will go to that area today and measure the distance between the area where the incident took place and the Blue Line.” His words lend some light to the violent and illegal attack by the Lebanses Army, which was a blatant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Strugar emphasized that the IDF (Zahal) coordinated the pruning work with the Lebanese Army through UNIFIL. “I can confirm that the IDF (Zahal) had coordinated the pruning work along the border with the Lebanese Army through UNIFIL. The IDF (Zahal) informed UNIFIL that it would be pruning a tree on the northern side of the border fence, but south of the international border line.” Strugar added that the situation immediately intensified, as the Lebanese Army was also in the area. “Our people who were there tried to pacify the situation and to enable the IDF (Zahal)’s work.”

“In the morning, the IDF (Zahal) informed us of their work and we passed that on to the Lebanese Army. Our investigation into this subject is not completed, and I am awaiting the final report which will be publicized today,” Strugar added.

The Hungarian diplomat said that UNIFIL personnel “face many complaints regarding provocations and arousals by the Lebanese Army against IDF (Zahal) soldiers on a daily basis. There are many incidents and we operate in order to prevent them. This happens almost every day. There is a great deal of tension on the border.” That being said, he added that “what happened today cannot be compared to anything else. This is the most serious incident which took place since 2006.”