UN: Israel Deliberately Targeted Peacekeeper in Lebanon

UNIFIL Says Strikes Obviously Aimed at Observation Tower

Three weeks ago, Israeli artillery “retaliated” for a cross-border Hezbollah attack, and ended up killing a Spanish soldier with the UN observer force, UNIFIL. The UNIFIL now believes Israel deliberately targeted them.

Hezbollah conducted the attack in retaliation for the January Israeli attack in Syria, which killed some of Hezbollah’s top anti-ISIS fighters. They killed two Israeli soldiers with anti-tank missiles, and said that was the end of it.

UNIFIL officials say Israel never even attempted to fire at the Hezbollah forces that were attacking them, and instead focused their artillery directly at the UNIFIL observation tower, with strikes getting closer until they finally hit it, killing soldier Francisco Javier Soria Toledo.

The UN believes that attack was meant to “punish” the peacekeepers for not stopping Hezbollah from conducting the attack, though the lightly armed UNIFIL force is primarily there to document cross-border incidents, not prevent them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.