UN peacekeeping position hit in south Lebanon, no casualties


A United Nations peacekeeping position in southern Lebanon was hit on Saturday without causing casualties, the U.N. force said, adding it was seeking to verify the source of the fire.

Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA) reported that an Israeli Merkava tank targeted the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) position near the border across from Metula in northern Israel.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said: "We did not aim at UNIFIL, we did not hit a UNIFIL position."

UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said the force was "verifying" the source of the fire, and said the incident caused "no casualties" but damaged a watchtower at the base.

Since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, the frontier between Lebanon and Israel has seen intensifying exchanges of fire, mainly between the Israeli army and Hezbollah, raising fears of a broader conflagration.

More than 120 people have been killed on the Lebanese side since October, mostly Hezbollah fighters but also including more than a dozen civilians, according to an AFP tally.

UNIFIL was set up in 1978 to monitor the withdrawal of Israeli forces after they invaded Lebanon in reprisal for a Palestinian attack.

It was bolstered after Hezbollah and Israel fought a devastating war in 2006, and its roughly 10,000 peacekeepers are tasked with monitoring the ceasefire between the two sides.

Since the Hamas-Israel war began, UNIFIL has said its headquarters in southern Lebanon has been hit by shelling.

Late last month, UNIFIL said Israeli gunfire hit one of its patrols despite a temporary Hamas-Israel truce largely quietening the Lebanon-Israel border at that time.

Comments 1
Missing arturo 10 December 2023, 18:11

UNIFIL's "10,000 peacekeepers are tasked with monitoring the ceasefire between the two sides." How's that going?