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Southern Lebanon: Firing Across Blue Line Deplored

Security Council, Envoy For Southern Lebanon Deplore Firing Across Blue Line

New York, Jun 30 2005

The Security Council and the United Nations envoy for southern Lebanon today deplored the Hezbollah militia's attacks from Lebanon against Israel and Israel's forceful response, calling on the Lebanese Government to end all attacks from its territory and on Israel to refrain from violating Lebanon's air space.

The Council and the Secretary-General's Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon, Geir Pedersen, urged both sides to respect fully the Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon.

Mr. Pedersen noted that the confrontation apparently had left one Israeli soldier and one Hezbollah fighter dead and three Israeli soldiers injured.

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) monitoring the situation reported that Israeli positions in the Shab'a Farms area came under Hezbollah mortar fire from Lebanon yesterday. The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) responded with artillery and tank rounds and dropped aerial bombs on southern Lebanon. Today's reports said Israeli helicopters further violated Lebanese airspace by dropping leaflets on the cities of Tyre, Sidon and Beirut.

Mr. Pedersen urged the Lebanese Government to extend its control over all of its territory, exert its monopoly there on the use of force and end all attacks emanating from its territory. He also urged the Israeli authorities to refrain from air violations of the Blue Line and reminded both parties that one violation could not justify another. The Council repeated its call on the Lebanese Government to deploy its armed forces in the country and urged all parties to exercise restraint.

ENDS


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