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Germany Claims Its UNIFIL Ship Encountered Israeli Warplanes

Germany claims that two Israeli F-16 warplanes fired warning shots and released anti-missile flares as they flew low over a German ship patrolling off the Lebanese coast as part of the U.N. peacekeeping force on Monday. Israel denies the charge. The newspaper Tagesspiegel reported that the German parliament was apprised of the incident on Wednesday. According to the paper, Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz told his German counterpart Minister Franz Joseph Jung in a telephone conversation that no Israeli plane fired near any German ship and proposed closer cooperation between Israel‘s military and Germany‘s contingent to the UNIFIL forces. Germany hesitated before contributing to the United Nations peacekeeping force for fear of being placed in a position where its troops would have to fire on Israelis.