UN Investigates as Four Peacekeepers Are Wounded in South Lebanon

Israel denies involvement in reported drone attack on UNIFIL vehicle

The United Nations has announced it is launching an investigation into Saturday’s incident in which an explosion injured four personnel on patrol near the southern town of Rmeish, Lebanon. The UN observer group, UNIFIL, urged an immediate ceasefire to prevent any further injuries or loss of life.

Early reports are that the four personnel were hit with drone fire on their vehicle. Israel responded with a quick denial, insisting they did not attack any UNFIL vehicle in the area.

Lebanese officials were quick to blame Israel, with caretaker PM Nijab Mikati condemning the “dangerous incident” and the Lebanese Foreign Ministry promising to take the matter to the UN Security Council.

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry says the attack marks a violation of international and humanitarian law, and that this comes in the wake of Israeli attacks on journalists, rescue workers, and civilians.

The four wounded included peacekeepers from Norway, Chile, and Australia, along with a Lebanese translator. They were all evacuated for medical treatment, and while the Foreign Ministry reported some in critical condition, more recent reports said everyone is stable and expected to survive.

Despite Israel’s denial, they have been trading fire, often with drones, around southern Lebanon where the attack took place, and the blanket denial came only after multiple media reports on the suspected attack.

UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres issued a statement condemning the incident and expressed “grave concern” over the daily exchange of fire between Hezbollah and Israel in the area. He urged more efforts to solve diplomatically the crisis in the region.

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.