Israel: Lebanon is Petty-Minded in Border Violations Row
Israel accused Lebanon Wednesday of petty-mindedness in the row over continued Israeli border violations following the end of the occupation of southern Lebanon.
Deputy defense minister, Ephraim Sneh, said Israel had complied with UN Security Council Resolution 425 calling for it to withdraw from Lebanon and it was now up to Beirut to do the same.
"Now that we have implemented our part of Resolution 425 as completely as possible, it is high time that the Lebanese government does the minimum necessary and assumes responsibility for security in southern Lebanon," Sneh said on public radio.
"Instead it is looking for thin excuses for delaying," Sneh added, calling the Lebanese attitude "ridiculous petty-mindedness."
He also said that Israel would not agree to split the village of Ghajar, which under the UN demarcation of the borderline would be divided between Lebanon and Israeli-occupied Syria.
"It is illogical to separate familes by fences," Sneh said.
The residents of Ghajar say they are Syrian and want to whole village to stay on the Syrian side of the border.
A United Nations report to the Security Council Monday outlined 12 violations by Israel of Lebanese territory, including technical fences or equipment that lie on the Lebanese side of the line of withdrawal.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) report dated Sunday said five violations involve fences encroaching a few meters (yards) into Lebanese territory, and the remaining seven consist of patrol tracks or the position of Israelis next to the border line.
The Lebanese government asked the United Nations to put an end to these violations and opposes the deployment of UN troops in the territory from which Israel withdrew until the situation is rectified.
UN chief cartographer Miklos Pinther and UN special envoy Terje Roed-Larsen are due in Beirut Friday in a bid to resolve the dispute - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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