Recent Israeli Provocations - by Stephen Lendman
Perhaps suggesting a larger-scale planned offensive, recent violent Israeli outbreaks struck Gaza, the West Bank, and Israeli/Lebanon border, the first there since the summer 2006 war.
Like Cast Lead, it was Israeli aggression - violent, lawless and unrelenting, a scorched-earth blitzkrieg, inflicting vast destruction, causing billions in damage, killing over 1,000 Lebanese, injuring thousands more, and displacing around a million others (about one-fourth of the country's four million population), including over 300,000 children fleeing north for their lives. In the end, Hezbollah handed Israel a humiliating defeat. Perhaps revenge is planned.
On August 4, Ma'an News reported that Israeli and Lebanese troops clashed - exchanging fire, killing four Lebanese citizens, including three soldiers. One Israeli soldier was killed. Reports said violence erupted after Israeli soldiers crossed the border, then tried uprooting a tree to install a surveillance camera and equipment, a chain of events leaving five dead. An IDF spokesman said soldiers hadn't entered Lebanon, but were between the UN-administered Blue Line and Israel's border fence.
Lebanese accounts had Israeli soldiers in the area, removing trees to install surveillance equipment. Israel called it "routine maintenance." Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned what he called Israeli violation of Lebanese sovereignty. Lebanon's parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, wants a complaint against Israel filed with the UN Security Council. Israel may file its own in response, its Foreign Ministry saying "Israel sees the firing on an IDF force which acted in coordination with UNIFEL (Blue Helmets) in the border region in the last hours a blunt violation of Security Resolution 1701."
Hariri wants the UN to demand Israel implement Resolution 1701, calling for demilitarization of the area within the Blue Line where UNIFEL troops are stationed. Throughout its history, Israel has spurned all UN resolutions criticizing its policies and actions.
On August 3, Haaretz writer Jack Khoury headlined, "(Hassan) Nasrallah: Hezbollah will respond if Israel attacks Lebanon's army," saying:
In a speech marking four years since the end of the 2006 war, Hezbollah's leader said:
"I say honestly, that in any place where the Lebanese army will be assaulted and there's a presence for the resistance, and it is capable, the resistance will not stand silent, or quiet or restrained....Israel's aggression against Lebanon has not stopped, and what happened today only proves that. Since the ceasefire and until today, Israel has blatantly violated (the UN Security Council resolution) more than 7,000 times, and no one has lifted a finger, not even the Security Council."
He also praised Lebanon's army and said Hezbollah was on highest alert during the incident. "I was personally in contact with (Hezbollah) commanders in the area, and I asked them not to act before receiving a direct order. We announced that we would not initiate any activity as long as we did not receive authorization from the highest command of the Lebanese army."
On August 5, Haaretz writer Gideon Levy headlined, "Only we're allowed," saying:
"After Tuesday's border clash, Israel will continue to ignore UNIFEL and the Lebanese army....Those bastards, the Lebanese, changed the rules. Scandalous. Word is, they have a brigade commander who's determined to protect his country's sovereignty. Scandalous."
Levy explained that in Gaza a "fence is a fence." Getting near it is enough to get shot and killed. In the West Bank, nearly the entire Separation Wall ignores the Green Line. Palestinians are forbidden to cross.
In Lebanon, it's different. Israel makes its own rules, ignoring "fences," crossing the border illegally, invading Lebanese air space, at times aggressively. Until 2000, Israeli forces occupied South Lebanon for 18 years, its so-called "security zone." Today, all Palestine is occupied since 1967.
"We're allowed" to be there. Palestinians "aren't allowed" to resist. "We're allowed" to enter Lebanon. "They're forbidden" from reacting. Try it, and "Lebanon must learn a lesson, and we will teach it. And what about us? We don't have any lessons to learn. We'll continue to ignore UNIFEL," UN resolutions, the rule of law, "the Lebanese Army and its new brigade commander, who has the nerve to think that his job is to protect his country's sovereignty." Scandalous.
Israeli Provocations in Gaza