Lebanese media decry UNIFIL `impotence` in border clash

Lebanese media on Wednesday lashed out at the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, calling it an "impotent" bystander after the previous day`s deadly border skirmish between Lebanese and Israeli forces.

Updated: Aug 04, 2010, 20:50 PM IST

Beirut: Lebanese media on Wednesday lashed out at
the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, calling it an "impotent"
bystander after the previous day`s deadly border skirmish
between Lebanese and Israeli forces.

"The impotent international forces beat a retreat, left
the place of combat and watched the unfolding events from
afar," said the daily As-Safir, which is close to the Shiite
movement Hezbollah.
UNIFIL had asked its soldiers only to "make a show of
arms ... against enemy forces," the newspaper said. It had
"encouraged (the enemy) with its reticence, without
effectively intervening to prevent the Israeli aggression,"
the newspaper alleged.

Lebanese and Israeli troops traded deadly fire on their
tense border yesterday in the worst clash since the 2006 war
between the Jewish state and the Shiite Hezbollah. Two
Lebanese soldiers, a Lebanese journalist and a senior
Israeli officer were killed.

The Al-Anwar daily mocked the multinational force, saying
it "fulfils its role perfectly" when things are calm.

"But ... when confrontations flare it is only a simple
spectator, which contacts the two parties to try to restore
calm and then submits a report to the Security Council," the
newspaper said.
PTI