Israeli Soldier Killed in Lebanon Raid
An Israeli soldier has been killed in a commando raid against Hezbollah strongholds inside Lebanon.
Hezbollah fighters battled Israeli commandos who landed near the militants’ stronghold deep inside Lebanon early Saturday, killing one soldier, in the first apparent large-scale violation of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire between the sides.
Hezbollah said its guerrillas foiled the raid after a gunbattle, and the Israeli army said one soldier was killed and two were wounded, one seriously. Witnesses said Israeli missiles destroyed a bridge during the raid, and Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora called the military action a “flagrant violation” of the cease-fire, which took effect Monday following 34 days of fighting.
The Israeli army said the special forces operation aimed “to prevent and interfere with terror activity against Israel, especially the smuggling of arms from Iran and Syria to Hezbollah.” It said the commando team completed its mission. The army said such operations would be carried out until “an effective monitoring unit” of Lebanese or multinational troops was in place. “If the Syrians and Iran continue to arm Hezbollah in violation of the (U.N. cease-fire) resolution, Israel is entitled to act to defend the principle of the arms embargo,” Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.
So much for the cease-fire. And, certainly, Israel is right here: they are under no obligation to adhere unilaterally to the conditions of the cease-fire.