TEL AVIV (Aug. 5)
The Israel Defense Force and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) differed Wednesday over what happened in south Lebanon Saturday night when two Norwegian soldiers were injured by Israeli gunfire.
The IDF, which has appointed a commission of investigation, insists that the Israeli soldiers fired on suspicious persons walking in the middle of the night on the edge of the security zone, in a region not usually patrolled by UNIFIL and without prior notice being given to the IDF to avoid incidents.
But the UNIFIL command, and especially its Norwegian contingent, insist with equal strength that the IDF had been notified that a UNIFIL unit would be operating in that region. It said the IDF was fully aware of the exact route the Norwegian patrol would take.
The Norwegian Ambassador in Israel registered a sharp protest with the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem Wednesday. The incident is reported to have aroused great anger in Norway. Norwegian television crews visited the site Tuesday to prepare extensive reports.