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Security Council Condemns Death of Peacekeeper, Spain Blames Israel

The U.N. Security Council condemned on Wednesday the death of a Spanish U.N. peacekeeper during the Israeli military's exchange of fire with Hizbullah in a disputed border area.

The Council condemned his death in the strongest terms and offered its deepest sympathies.

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U.S. Urges Restraint after Shebaa Attack, Security Council Holds Urgent Meeting

The United States on Wednesday condemned Hizbullah's deadly operation in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms as an "act of violence," urging all parties to refrain from actions that could escalate the situation, as France requested an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that Washington did not want "an escalation of the situation."

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Mustaqbal: No Side Has the Right to Usurp Govt.'s Decisions on War and Peace

The Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc stressed on Wednesday that the government alone is responsible for issues of war and peace, adding that the Shebaa operation earlier during the day should remind all Lebanese factions of the importance of preserving stability and security.

It said in a statement after its weekly meeting: “No side has the right to usurp the will of the Lebanese people and replace the constitutional authority of the state that is tasked with making national decisions.”

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Hamas, Islamic Jihad Say 'Heroic' Shebaa Operation is Hizbullah 'Legitimate Right'

Palestinian resistance movements Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have lauded the attack carried out by Hizbullah in the Shebaa Farms on Wednesday, describing it as a “heroic” operation against the Israeli army.

“Targeting the enemy in Shebaa is the legitimate right of the resistance in the face of the occupation's arrogance and hostility,” Hamas said in a statement issued shortly after the assault.

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Lebanon Condemns Israeli Escalation, Says Hizbullah Operation Didn't Violate Blue Line

Prime Minister Tammam Salam condemned Wednesday Israel's military escalation in south Lebanon, as the Foreign Ministry noted that a deadly Hizbullah attack on Israeli troops in the occupied Shebaa Farms did not violate the Blue Line that was demarcated by the U.N. following the 2006 war.

In a statement, Salam stated that “the Israeli escalation on the border with Lebanon after the Shebaa operation might pave the way for dangerous possibilities that do not serve peace and stability in the region.”

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Spanish U.N. Soldier Killed by Israeli Retaliatory Fire after Shebaa Attack

A U.N. peacekeeper from Spain was killed on Wednesday when the Israeli military shelled border areas following a Hizbullah attack that left two Israeli soldiers dead.

A 36-year-old corporal "died this morning during incidents between Hizbullah and the Israeli army in the area of responsibility of the Spanish contingent", the Spanish defense ministry said in a statement.

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Arabi Urges Security Council to 'Immediately' Intervene to End Border Escalation

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi urged on Wednesday the United Nations Security Council to intervene to halt the “deterioration of the situation on the Israeli border with Syria and Lebanon” in the wake of the Shebaa Farms operation earlier in the day.

He said: “The Security Council should assume its responsibilities and intervene immediately to put an end to the Israeli assaults.”

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Mawlawi Confirms Fleeing Ain el-Hilweh to Prevent Muslim Bloodshed

Fugitive Islamist Shadi al-Mawlawi confirmed on Wednesday that he left the southern Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh ending speculations over his whereabouts.

“We only left Ain el-Hilweh to avoid the shed of Muslim blood,” Mawlawi said via his account on Twitter.

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Geagea Slams Hizbullah's Shebaa Attack as Jumblat Warns of 'Turbulent Phase'

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea and Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat were quick to react on Wednesday to Hizbullah's attack against an Israeli military vehicle in the Shebaa Farms, warning that Lebanon is headed towards a “turbulent” period.

The Foreign Ministry meanwhile condemned Israel's shelling of Lebanese territory.

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Presidential Election Session Postponed Anew over Lack of Quorum

Speaker Nabih Berri postponed on Wednesday a parliamentary session to elect a new president to February 18 over lack of quorum.

The 18th session was adjourned over ongoing disagreements between the rival parties on the character of the presidential candidate.

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