Lebanese media mentioned information stating that one person was killed and a number of wounded for UNIFIL forces, after a dispute between the people in southern Lebanon and UNIFIL, which included gunfire.
UNIFIL forces adopted a path other than its normal path in the Al-Aqabiya area, which necessitated the objection of the people of the region. The objection turned into an argument and a shooting.
During an attempt to withdraw from the scene of the problem, the patrol hit a citizen from the area, but he was slightly injured.
Their vehicle was involved in an accident while trying to withdraw from the scene of the problem, which led to its overturning, injuring 4 members.
For its part, UNIFIL announced that it is coordinating with the Lebanese army to determine the circumstances of the killing of the Irish soldier.
UNIFIL said, “The details of the killing of the Irish soldier in southern Lebanon are few and conflicting.”
UNIFIL added that it “did not identify the attackers of the convoy in southern Lebanon.”
The Irish Defense Forces said in a statement that an Irish soldier from the United Nations peacekeeping mission was killed in Lebanon late on Wednesday, when a convoy of two armored vehicles, carrying eight soldiers and heading towards Beirut, came under small arms fire.
The statement added that another member of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is in critical condition after he underwent surgery after the incident, while two other soldiers are receiving treatment for minor injuries.
“We confirm with great sadness that one of our peacekeepers was killed in a serious incident in Lebanon last night,” the Irish Defense Forces said.
Hezbollah denies its relationship
The official of Hezbollah’s Coordination and Liaison Unit denied, in an interview with Reuters, any link between the party and the incident.
The Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the “in the strongest terms the unfortunate incident”. She said that she is “following up with great interest, along with all concerned Lebanese authorities and UNIFIL, the investigations that she has launched to be able to hold those responsible accountable.”
The UNIFIL force has been present in Lebanon since 1978, and it includes about ten thousand soldiers and is deployed in southern Lebanon to separate Israel and Lebanon after several conflicts.
On August 31, the UN Security Council renewed its mandate for one year. His decision included an amendment related to its movement in terms of that it does not need “prior permission or permission from anyone to carry out the tasks assigned to it, and it is allowed to conduct its operations independently.”
This amendment sparked criticism, most notably from Hezbollah, after the UNIFIL command had been coordinating its patrols and movements in its area of deployment with the Lebanese army over the past years.
Following the criticism, the UNIFIL command in Lebanon confirmed that it works “closely with the Lebanese Armed Forces on a daily basis, and this has not changed.”
In a speech delivered September 17th, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah warned UNIFIL that “if they want to act away from the state and the Lebanese army involved in the movement in the south of the Litani, they are pushing things to a place that is not in their interest.”
This is the most prominent incident in southern Lebanon in recent years, and it comes in the midst of two political and economic crises in Lebanon, whose parliament failed Thursday for the tenth time in a row to elect a president for the country.