First Published: 2007-11-30

UN to Israel: stop Lebanon airspace violations

UN Interim Force in Lebanon says noticed intensive Israeli overflights over Lebanon.


Middle East Online

The UN has repeatedly denounced Israel's overflights

TYRE, Lebanon - The United Nations on Thursday called on Israel to halt its violations of Lebanese airspace, following several days of intensive overflights.

"We have noticed intensive Israeli overflights over the last few days... and we have asked that they be stopped," said Yasmina Bouziane, spokeswoman for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

The overflights "do not only constitute a violation of Lebanese sovereignty, but also of (UN Security Council) Resolution 1701," she said.

Bouziane said the Israeli overflights "harm the credibility of the United Nations and the Lebanese army in the eyes of the residents and harm efforts to ease tension" in the region.

"We have filed reports to the UN Security Council" on the overflights and UNIFIL commander Major General Claudio Graziano has raised the issue with the Israeli army command, she said.

"He expressed his serious concern over these violations and asked that they be stopped," she said.

Earlier this month, Israeli warplanes also staged intensive flights over southern Lebanon, triggering anti-aircraft fire from the Lebanese army.

Such overflights are a violation of Resolution 1701 which brought an end to the 34-day war between Israel and the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah in August 2006.

The United Nations has repeatedly denounced Israel's overflights as undermining the credibility of UN peacekeepers posted in south Lebanon and efforts to stabilise the region.


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