UNIFIL comment in response to reports on Israeli tanks crossing the Technical Fence in south Lebanon
14 April 2011 - In response to reports on Israeli tanks crossing the Technical Fence near the village of El Adeisseh in south Lebanon, UNIFIL Spokesperson Neeraj Singh said:
"At around 08:00 hours this morning UNIFIL was informed by LAF that two IDF tanks had crossed the Israeli Technical Fence in the vicinity of El Adeisseh.
UNIFIL immediately dispatched patrols to the area to defuse tension and prevent any escalation. On arriving at the location, UNIFIL peacekeepers observed that one IDF tank had crossed the Technical Fence and moved towards the Blue Line pillar marked BP36. Another IDF tank and other military vehicles were deployed in the area south of the Technical Fence. A number of LAF soldiers were deployed on the Lebanese side of the Blue Line in the general area.
No violation of the Blue Line was observed.
In the meantime, UNIFIL sent additional troops and reinforced its presence on the ground to keep the situation under control.
UNIFIL Force Commander General Asarta has been in contact with the command of both LAF and IDF stressing the importance of ensuring full respect for the Blue Line by all the parties, reiterating the sensitivity of the Blue Line and urging utmost caution in any actions along the Blue Line that could be perceived as provocative and exacerbate tensions. He called on the parties to utilize the liaison and coordination mechanism through UNIFIL particularly on matters relating to the Blue Line in order to minimize the scope for any misunderstandings or apprehensions that may increase tension and lead to escalation.
In this area the Lebanese government had some reservations concerning the Blue Line, as did the Israeli government at some other locations, at the time the Blue Line was identified in the year 2000 as the Line of Withdrawal of Israeli Forces from Lebanon. However, both Lebanon and Israel confirmed to the UN Secretary-General that, notwithstanding their reservations, identifying the Line was solely the responsibility of the United Nations and that they will respect the Line as identified.
The UN position is that the Blue Line must be respected in its entirety by all parties."