A patrol of Israeli troops crossed into neighboring Lebanon overnight on what officials described as an “operational activity meant to preserve the calm” but which UN officials are terming a likely violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
The troops were around 400 meters into Lebanese territory when they triggered an explosive which wounded four of them, and they fled back across the Blue Line into Israel. The incident reportedly happened just 100 meters from a UN surveillance tower meant to monitor the ceasefire between the two nations.
Though Israel has regularly carried out overflights into Lebanese territory in violation of the ceasefire, it is unusual for them to send grounds troops so deep into the neighboring country, and they offered no real explanation for what they were doing there.
The explosion seems to be very much beside the point, as Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon conceded that Israel isn’t even sure if it is “old or new,” meaning it could well be one of the myriad landmines Israel planted themselves during the occupation of southern Lebanon and simply forgot about before their own troops blundered onto it.
Lebanese officials familiar with the situation say that they believe the explosion was the result of “two devices, whose nature we do not know.” Israel has been accused not only of mining southern Lebanon, a policy which continues to kill and maim civilians to this day, but of planting surveillance devices which include a remotely detonatable explosive package in the event of discovery.
The UN says it is investigating the cross-border raid, but has offered no details beyond saying that Israel had been contacted about the matter.