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UN Urges ‘Maximum Restraint’ after Israel-Lebanon Border Flare Up

UN Urges ‘Maximum Restraint’ after Israel-Lebanon Border Flare Up

Sunday, 1 September, 2019 - 16:45
Smoke rises from shells fired from Israel in Maroun al-Ras village, near the border with Israel, in southern Lebanon, September 1, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho

The United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon on Sunday called on Israel and Hezbollah to exercise restraint, after the party fired anti-tank missiles into an Israeli military base and Israel responded with heavy artillery fire on southern Lebanon.


The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said in a statement that it was following developments and that its commanding officer, Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col, "is in contact with the parties urging the maximum restraint and asked to cease all activities endangering the cessation of hostilities."


The statement came as the Israeli military said that there were no casualties in the Hezbollah rocket strike.


The military spokesperson's unit said that "Hezbollah did not succeed to achieve its target."


"The tactical event on the ground ... appears to be behind us, however the strategic situation is still on,” it added.


The Lebanese army said Israeli forces fired some 40 shells on the outskirts of several border villages following Hezbollah's attack.


Incendiary and cluster shells struck the outskirts of the villages of Maroun el-Ras, Aitaroun and Yaroun triggering some fires, it added.


Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the country is "willing to defend Israel's citizens wherever they are, without hesitation."


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said that Israel was prepared for any scenario after the cross-border clash.


"We were attacked by a few anti-tank missiles. We responded with 100 shells, aerial fire and various measures. We are in consultations about what's to come," Netanyahu said.


"I have given instructions to be prepared for any scenario, and we will decide on what's next depending on how things develop," he said, almost dismissively, in a departure from his usually much tougher language towards Israel's enemies.


"I can make an important announcement - we have no casualties, no wounded, not even a scratch."


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