Israel: Hizbullah Sniper was Right Next to UN Position
Israel has lodged a protest with the United Nations over an incident late Tuesday night in which a sniper from the Shi’ite group Hizbullah is alleged to have opened fire on Israeli troops from a position close by UN peacekeepers. “The last attack directed at IDF forces, together with Hizbullah’s strengthening and its activities in south Lebanon, raise the chances of escalation on [our] northern border that could have terrible consequences for Lebanon and the entire region,” Gilad Erdan, Israel’s new ambassador to the world body, wrote on Wednesday in a letter to the Security Council. He attached an aerial photo showing where Israel believes the sniper was located, noting that it was within yards of a post used by UNIFIL, the UN’s peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. According to the Israeli delegation to the UN, the photo shows the “powerlessness” of UNIFIL. The peacekeepers’ mandate, set to expire on August 31, is up for renewal. Israel has been pressing the Security Council to extend it to the border between Lebanon and Syria, which Israeli Intelligence believes is being used by Hizbullah to smuggle advanced weaponry, including rocket-guidance systems, shipped to Syria from Iran.