Tuesday, January 06, 2004

UNIFIL quagmire

Here is another example of how the UN seems uninterested in the fact that terrorists are constantly stalking Israel.

The Israeli Defense Forces have spotted a "roadside bomb" near the Israel/Lebanon border. It wants to defuse the bomb, but UNIFIL (the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) says that the bomb might slightly lie on the Lebanon side of the border and that, if so, the IDF may not defuse the bomb. However, the IDF maintains that the bomb is on the Israeli side and that it needs to be defused before it injures someone. UNIFIL has told the IDF that it needs to check the location of the bomb using a GPS device, but that it can't reach the bomb because the Israelis have had to fortify the border with land mines and such.

Talk about a quagmire!

The planting of roadside bombs along the Lebanon-Israel border appears to be the latest attempt by Hizbullah to maintain pressure on the Israelis as part of its unrelenting psychological war against its foe.

Israeli troops have discovered at least four separate clusters of roadside bombs in the past two months planted beside or near the border security fence. In the latest incident, the Israeli Army and UNIFIL were locked in debate Monday to pinpoint the exact location of the Blue Line just north of the Israeli settlement of Zarit after several bombs were spotted there.

The Israelis are looking to cross the fence and dismantle the two connected bombs and a land mine. The border fence does not always exactly follow the Blue Line. If the bombs are planted on the Lebanese side of the line, the Israelis are not permitted to reach them. The only way to accurately gauge the location of the bombs is for a UNIFIL soldier to check their coordinates using a Global Positioning System (GPS) device. However, the swathe of Israeli-planted land mines running alongside the border fence has prevented UNIFIL troops from approaching the bombs.

A UNIFIL officer said that if the bombs proved to be on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, the Israelis were permitted to cross the fence and destroy the devices.

“If they are on the Lebanese side, we will contact the Lebanese government and ask them to destroy the bombs,” the officer said.

The bombs are planted in exactly the same location as another series of explosive charges discovered and dismantled by Israeli troops last month.


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