Israeli Air Force over Flies South Lebanon

Published June 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The Israeli air force over flew southern Lebanon at high altitude Thursday for the second time since Israel withdrew its forces from the region, Lebanese police and state television said. 

But Israel's army denied the allegations. 

"The army spokesman wishes to clarify that reports in foreign news agencies saying that the air force flew in Lebanese airspace are baseless," it said in a statement. 

"The military jets flew over the Mediterranean and not over Lebanese territorial waters and there was no violation of Lebanese territory," it added. 

Police at Tyre, 83 kilometers (51 miles) south of Beirut, said the aircraft broke the sound barrier during two passes over the town of Naqoura, which lies on the coast near the Israeli border, and over Lebanese coastal waters. 

Separately, state television said the Israeli aircraft flew over southern Lebanon for an hour, in particular over the town of Nabatiyeh and the Iqlim al-Tuffah hills, 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Beirut. 

On May 28th, Lebanese aviation authorities said, Israeli aircraft violated the country's airspace for the first time since Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon four days earlier after a 22-year occupation. 

In that instance, the planes were said to have flown over territorial waters off the coast of Beirut, breaking the sound barrier in two passes. 

The Israeli army also denied that incident – BEIRUT (AFP) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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