Jerusalem: Israel`s Defence Minister on Wednesday
called a deadly border skirmish a Lebanese provocation but
said it was a local incident not orchestrated by Hezbollah or
the top brass of the Lebanese army.
"It was a very grave provocation and we reacted in a
measured, just and immediate manner," Ehud Barak told public
But at the same time, he stressed that "Tuesday`s
incident was not programmed by the chiefs of staff of the
Lebanese army in Beirut or by Hezbollah."
The Israeli military believes the incident was caused by
a radical Lebanese army officer who was not acting on orders
from higher-ups, according to Israeli defence correspondents.
The officer, upon hearing from UN forces that Israel
planned to conduct maintenance work along the border, invited
media to the area to document the incident, an unnamed Israeli
military official told public radio.
"One must act in such a way that a local incident does
not degenerate into a full-blown crisis," Barak said.
"I hope there will be no escalation, that we will have a
calm summer and that things will return to normal."
The minister also worried that the United States and
France had "provided sophisticated weapons to Lebanon which
were used in Tuesday`s incident and could fall into