Sniper fire from Lebanon kills Israeli soldier along border

JERUSALEM -- An Israeli soldier was killed Sunday evening by shots fired over the border from Lebanon, the Israeli military reported.

According to the statement, a sniper with the Lebanese military fired shots at a vehicle driving along the Israeli-Lebanese border, killing the Israeli soldier.

The Israeli army fired at a Lebanese military post in retaliation, Israeli media reported early Monday.

The Israeli military lodged a complaint with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, of the “outrageous breach of Israel’s sovereignty” and has stepped up preparedness along the border, military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in the statement.


Lerner said an investigation of the incident was underway. Israel would “not tolerate aggression” and reserved the right to self-defense against perpetrators of attacks against its civilians or soldiers.

Military sources told media the shooter probably acted alone.

Israeli media reported that the Israeli vehicle was hit by six or seven bullets from a light firearm, shot from a relatively short distance. The incident took place just east of an Israeli post near Rosh Hanikra, which is called Ras al Naqoura on the Lebanese side.

One source in Lebanon told local media the soldier was killed when an Israeli unit attempted to cross the border. However, a Lebanese military official denied reports that the forces had clashed or that a Lebanese soldier was missing or captured by Israel.


The official told the Daily Star the circumstances of the incident were still being investigated and confirmed the shooter was a Lebanese soldier.

Andrea Tenenti, a UNIFIL spokesman, said the peacekeeping mission was in contact with both Lebanese and Israeli armies, urging restraint. He told Lebanese media the incident took place on the Israeli side of the “blue line” that demarcates Israel’s withdrawal from South Lebanon in 2000.

Sobelman is a news assistant in The Times’ Jerusalem bureau.