Norwegian Unifil Official Denies Making Anti-israeli Statements

The commander of the Norwegian contingent to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has denied anti-Israeli statements attributed to him in an Oslo newspaper.

Col. Erling Heim was quoted as saying that Israeli officers had behaved towards the Norwegian soldiers just as the Nazis had done to the Norwegians during World War II.

He was also quoted as saying that if the UNIFIL had had the proper armaments they could have halted the Israeli advance into Lebanon last year.

Questioned by Israel Radio, UNIFIL spokesmen and Norwegian officers said it was “inconceivable” that Heim could have made such statements, “He is the sort of man who won’t give you a yes or no answer if he thinks there may be political overtones to his reply,” they said.

Heim himself denied the report. He said he had told a Norwegian correspondent only what he had been instructed to say in the official UNIFIL guidelines — that the UNIFIL was not a war-like but a peace-keeping force. He said that relations with IDF officers had been strained at one time but were now good.

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