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Israeli Troops Violate U.N. Resolution 1701 in Provocation that Kills at Least Five – War, or Communications Probe?

In clear violation of U.N. Resolution 1701, which Israel signed at the conclusion of their ignominious defeat in July-August 2006, Israeli troops violated Lebanese sovereignty this morning, cutting down a tree on the Lebanese side of the border. An MSNBC video and still clearly show the Israelis, attempting to cut down the first tree on the Lebanese side of the border.

The Lebanese Army (not Hizbollah) responded with warning shots, then with live fire. The Israeli counter-reasponse apparently killed three Lebanese soldiers and a reporter. A sniper from the Lebanese side of the border then killed "a high-ranking Israeli officer.

Although Israel routinely violates Resolution 1701 (overflights, shelling of Lebanese fishing boats, etc.), Hizbollah has also done so, though less blatantly.

The Israelis are now responding with heavy artillery and rocket fire, as well as white phosphorus. Numerous Lebanese soldiers and civilians have been injured in the exchange, which is probably escalating to include Hizbollah rockets, as I write.

Here’s the longest report on this I have found yet, from Iran’s Press TV, not always the best source, to say the least:

UPDATE: I’m beginning to think that this was an IDF probe intended to draw out Hizbollah fire and – more importantly – to listen in on the Hizbollah radio nets as they reacted in real time. There have been Israeli accusations that Lebanese military communications and surveillance equipment, provided in recent months by the U.S, is being shared by the Lebanese with Hizbollah.

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Alaska progressive activist, notorious composer and firedoglake devotee.