UN peacekeeping forces report no Blue Line crossing amid Israeli claim

Beirut, March 16 : The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on Thursday said it had not observed any crossing of the Blue Line in recent days on Lebanon’s southern border after Israel claimed that a roadside bomber had probably smuggled into Israel from Lebanon, the media reported.

On Wednesday, the Israeli military said that it had shot dead a person suspected of planting a roadside bomb that seriously injured one Israeli citizen earlier this week, adding that they believed the man had crossed the heavily guarded Blue Line into Israel.

“An extensive investigation is underway to determine if Hezbollah is involved in the operation,” the Israeli military was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

The Blue Line is a 120-kilometre line drawn by the United Nations between Lebanon and Israel in 2000 to verify the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon. The line is temporary until the two countries demarcate their land borders.

UNIFIL Commander Aroldo Lazaro urged “the Lebanese and Israeli parties to exercise restraint, maintain stability, and use UNIFIL mechanisms for coordination and liaison to avoid misunderstandings and reduce tensions,” according to Lebanon’s National News Agency.

–IANS

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