UN Envoy Accuses Israel of Border Violations with Lebanon
UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen accused Israel on Tuesday of violating its border with Lebanon, saying the Jewish state's behavior was "unnecessary, counterproductive and totally unacceptable," reported The Associated Press.
The accusations by Roed-Larsen followed earlier complaints from Lebanese officials that Israel had committed fresh encroachments across the UN-drawn frontier.
Plans to deploy UN peacekeepers along the border starting Wednesday were put on hold, an official Lebanese statement said, according to the AP.
Larsen said the Israelis were crossing into Lebanese territory at various points along the border and that UN peacekeepers confirmed the violations.
Larsen, in his statement, "expressed his deep disappointment over this Israeli behavior and stressed that these repeated Israeli violations were unnecessary, counterproductive and totally unacceptable."
The envoy also conveyed to Israeli officials that "this pattern of behavior had to be changed immediately."
Larsen, together with the deputy commander of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, were to inspect the border on Wednesday, the statement said, added the agency.
At United Nations headquarters in New York, the UN Security Council warned it would not tolerate any border violations and "urged the parties to avoid any incident that could lead to an escalation of tensions," council president Patricia Durant, Jamaica's ambassador, told reporters.
There was no immediate Israeli comment, but Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh told reporters earlier Tuesday that Israel had fulfilled "to the last millimeter" a 1978 Security Council resolution calling for its withdrawal from Lebanon, the AP said.
It's time, he said, "the Lebanese do their part."
Earlier Tuesday, the Lebanese government had given the green light for the peacekeepers to deploy, saying it was satisfied by a UN report that found Israel was no longer violating Lebanese territory.
But in an official statement later in the day, it said the border had been violated at four points between Monday night and Tuesday morning, added the agency.
A meeting of Lebanese army officers and the UN peacekeeping force to plan the deployment of peacekeepers was called off until further notice, according to the agency - Albawaba.com
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