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UN criticises Israel for illegal flights over Lebanon

UN protests IAF overflights of Lebanon

The UN has protested against a series of IAF flights over parts of Lebanon in the past few days that it said were a violation of Lebanese airspace.

An official protest was lodged by Staffan de-Mistura, the personal representative to Lebanon of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

UN sources said there had been consecutive overflights for the past four days.

"We are not concerned about the reasons. Our concern is that there has been an intensification of these overflights recently and they constitute a violation of the Blue Line," a senior UN source said.

Reports from Lebanon said IAF planes had flown over parts of the south and as far north as Beirut and eastward to the Bekaa Valley.

The UN sources said the matter had been raised with headquarters in New York and that an official protest would be lodged.

Military sources here noted that the UN had lodged official protests against overflights in the past.

The sources stressed that Israel had withdrawn from Lebanon in May 2000 in full compliance with Security Council Resolution 425. In October that same year, three soldiers were killed and their bodies taken and Elhanan Tannenbaum was kidnapped.

"Altogether, 21 Israelis, including six civilians, have been killed in terrorist attacks emanating from Lebanon, primarily by Hizbullah, since the withdrawal to the Blue Line," a senior military source said. "It quickly became clear that Israel was still under threat and that it was essential to take defensive measures to protect all its citizens. The flights over Lebanon resumed at the beginning of 2001, almost a year after the pullback, for that reason and that reason only.

"The Lebanese government had every opportunity during that period to demonstrate its willingness to also comply with the UN Security Council resolution but it purposely failed to do so."


Jerusalem Post, "UN protests IAF overflights of Lebanon", 24 February 2005.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 28 February 2005.

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Tags: Lebabon, air-space, Israel, violating, Lebanese, airsapce, illegal, flights, flying, over, Lebabon, territory, UN, United Nations, Israeli, Air Force, IAF, hostile, , conspiracy theories.

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