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Thursday, September 28, 2006

IDF denies confrontation with UN troops

At Little Green Footballs, Charles is reporting on a confrontation between IDF tanks and UN 'peacekeepers':
United Nations “peacekeepers” in Lebanon have had their first tense confrontation. No, not with Hizballah terrorists, silly.

With Israel.


MARWAHEEN, Lebanon (AFP) - UN and Israeli tanks have been involved in a brief face-off on a road in southern Lebanon where the Israeli army has been setting up checkpoints.

Four French Leclerc tanks with UN peacekeepers moved up the hill to stand 500 meters (yards) from the entrance to the border village of Marwaheen, as two Israeli Merkava tanks operated nearby on Lebanese soil.

Standing some 50 meters from each other, the tanks were locked in a 20-minute face-off, the first between the Israeli army and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has been boosted to oversee the current truce.

The French tanks then withdrew from the area [Heh. —ed.], as observers of the UN Truce Supervision Organisation deployed in the area.

Israeli soldiers confiscated the identity cards of photographers at the scene, claiming they may give pictures of the Israeli military to militants of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.
There's one big problem with the AFP report: The IDF denies it.
The IDF spokesman said "our forces did not prevent them from doing anything and they did not prevent us from doing anything."

He added that "no conflict arose" between the Israeli force and the French peacekeeping force.

The French force is part of UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has been sent to boost the force and supervise the fragile truce between Israel and Hezbollah.
Have a look at this picture from the 'confrontation.' Do they look like they're 'confronting' each other?


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