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06 08 20 - Turkia: Israel Violates U.N Truce
INTERNATIONAL 08.20.2006 Sunday - ISTANBUL 20:07
Israel Violates U.N. Truce, Attacks Lebanon By Foreign News Desk Sunday, August 20, 2006 The Israeli army carried out air strikes and land operations into western Lebanon on the sixth day of the U.N.-brokered ceasefire. Israeli commandoes launched a raid deep into Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley, killing three Hezbollah members. A U.N. envoy Terje Roed-Larsen on a visit to Beirut Saturday told Lebanon's LBC television, "But if what has been reported is correct, it is of course a clear violation of the ceasefire." Lebanon sharply responded by threatening to halt U.N. troop deployments to the south of the country until the U.N. could guarantee Israeli compliance with the resolution. Sources from the Israeli government told Ynet that "the operation was necessary." Hezbollah members patrolling the area saw an Israeli helicopter land 100 kilometers from the Hezbollah stronghold of Baalbek. According to reports, Hezbollah guerillas and Israeli commandoes engaged in a firefight and Israeli soldiers were only able to evacuate the area due to close air support. The Israeli army announced the loss of one Israeli soldier, but Lebanese security sources say that six Israel soldiers were lost in the fighting. Contradictory explanations have been made regarding the target of the operation. Israel maintained the commando raid was conducted to halt a shipment of arms from Iran to Hezbollah; however, Lebanese sources said they believed Sheikh Mohammed Yazbek, a senior Hezbollah official, was the target of the Israeli raid. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora blasted the operation as a "blatant violation" of the fragile truce to end the month-long war. Lebanese Defense Minister Eliad Murr said Saturday that Israel continuously provokes Hezbollah to attack the Lebanese army, and he added: "If there are no clear answers forthcoming on this issue, I might be forced to recommend to the cabinet early next week the halt of the army deployment in the South." Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Hezbollah’s arms shipment violated the U.N. truce and "Israel reserves the right to act in order to enforce the spirit of the [U.N.] resolution."


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