Breaking News: IDF Officer Killed as Lebanon Opens Fire on Northern Border
03 August 2010 , 17:20
soldier wounded by Lebanese gunfire
The soldier who was critically wounded by Lebanese gunfire was medivacked to Haifa's Rambam hospitol. Photo: Shay Vaknin
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Lt. Col. (res.) Dov Harari, who was shot and killed by Lebanese forces on Tuesday. Photo: IDF Spokesperson
LAF opened fire at IDF forces operating inside Israeli territory, killing Lt. Col. (res.) Dov Harari. White House sent condolences to the Harari family. last update 11:19

Elana Kieffer

The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) fired at an IDF position in the Israeli side of the border along the Lebanese border in northern Israel on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 3).  The Israeli soldiers who were fired on had been in Israeli territory, carrying out routine maintenance which had been coordinated ahead of time with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which is the peacekeeping force created by the UN Security Council in March 1978 following Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.

Lt. Col. Dov Harari (45) from Netanya was killed by the LAF during this incident. The White House sent President Barak Obama's personal condolences to the Harari family, on the passing of the Battalion Commander. Harari served as a battalion commander. Capt. Ezra Lakia (30) from Kfar Ha'Rif sustained severe injuries in the same incident.  Capt. Lakia served as a platoon commander.
 
The border area is west of the Israeli town of Misgav Am. The incident occurred east of the internationally recognized “Blue Line”, the border between Israel and Lebanon, and west of the security fence, thus lying within Israeli territory.

The IDF force immediately returned fire to an LAF force. Several minutes later an Israel Air Force (IAF) helicopter fired at the LAF Battalion Command Center in Al-Taybeh, damaging several LAF armored combat vehicles.

The IDF holds the LAF responsible for the incident that disrupted the calm in the region, and its consequences.

Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, arrived at Israel's northern border and has been closely following the events as they unfold. He is currently holding situation assessment meetings with the Commander of IDF's Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, as well as the Commander of the Galilee Regional Division and additional commanders.

Since the conclusion of the Second Lebanon War over four years ago, three incidents of firing towards Israeli territory have been recorded, and terrorist organizations have claimed responsibility for each of these incidents.

There have also been two recorded incidents of Lebanon violating the Blue Line. First, in a cross border raid in October 2000, Hezbollah forces abducted and killed three IDF soldiers, Sgt. First Class Adi Avitan (22), Sgt. First Class Benyamin Avraham (21), and Sgt. First Class Omar Sawaid (27), who at the time had been patrolling on the Israeli side of the border demarcation.

In an additional cross border raid in 2006, Hezbollah forces attacked two Israeli armored Hum-vees which were located within the Israeli side of the border. As a result, seven IDF soldiers were killed, two were wounded, and Sgt. First Class Ehud Goldwasser and Sgt. First Class Eldad Regev were abducted and killed.

Last update: 11:19