UNIFIL statements on the incident at El Adeisse, 03 August 2010
Regarding the exchange of fire between the Lebanese Armed Forces and Israeli Defense Forces in the area of El Adeisse along the Blue Line on Tuesday 03 August 2010, UNIFIL Public Information Office has released the following comments to the media on Tuesday:
"There has been an exchange of fire between the Lebanese army and the Israeli army along the Blue Line in the general area of El Adeisse. UNIFIL peacekeepers are in the area and are trying to ascertain the circumstances of the incident and any possible casualties. Our immediate priority at this time is to restore calm in the area. UNIFIL Acting Force Commander Brigadier General Santi Bonfanti is in contact with the command of both LAF and IDF urging maximum restraint."
"After the exchange of fire between Lebanese and Israeli forces along the Blue Line this afternoon, UNIFIL has been focused on restoring calm in the area through intensive contacts with both the parties.
To that end, UNIFIL Acting Force Commander Brigadier General Santi Bonfanti decided to personally fly by helicopter to the incident location at El Adeisse. UNIFIL informed both parties and asked them to stop all firing in the area. Gen. Bonfanti is already in the El Adeisse area and the situation is presently quiet.
UNIFIL peacekeepers are deployed in the area. UNIFIL's immediate priority is to consolidate the calm and we are urging both parties to exercise maximum restraint."
Comments to the media, Wednesday 04 August 2010:
Following the exchange of fire between the Lebanese army and the Israeli army across the Blue Line in El Adeisse yesterday, the UNIFIL investigators were on the ground and commenced investigations. The investigations are still ongoing and the findings will be intimated on conclusion of the investigations.
UNIFIL established, however, that the trees being cut by the Israeli army are located south of the Blue Line on the Israeli side.
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.
UNIFIL is in contact with both the parties to keep the situation under control and to ensure that there is no violation of the Blue Line in this area.