U.N. urges Israel and Lebanon to exercise "maximum restraint"
The U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon called Friday on both Israel and Lebanon to exercise "maximum restraint" after an Israeli air raid targeted an area south of Beirut earlier in the day.
The Israeli strike near a base belonging to an armed Palestinian faction comes a day after rockets from south Lebanon were fired into the Jewish state.
“[United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major General Paolo Serra, has been in contact with senior Commanders of the [Lebanese Army] and [Israeli army] reiterating again, the highest importance of acting with maximum restraint, avoiding any use of force,” a UNIFIL statement said.
“After receiving the news about the airstrike, I was in contact with the [Israeli army] commander, stressing upon them to cease from any offensive military operation,” Serra said.
“I also called on the [Lebanese Army] commander emphasizing the need to exercise maximum restrain to avoid undesired consequences,” he added.
Serra also urged both the Lebanese and Israeli militaries to cooperate with UNIFIL “in order to reduce the tension and prevent further incidents and escalation which could have serious implications on the security and stability in the area.”
UNIFIL said the Jewish state had confirmed it conducted the airstrike.
Israel, according to the statement, described the incident as retaliation for Thursday’s rocket attack from Lebanese territory.
The air raid on Naameh, some 15 kilometers south of the Lebanese capital, is outside UNIFIL’s area of operation.
Serra is set to meet later with the commanders of both the Lebanese and Israeli armies.