Israel says shooting from Lebanon was not ordered by Beirut
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Last Updated: Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 20:07
  
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 radio.

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 Hezbollah's hands."

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 20:07


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