Israeli, Lebanese troops exchange fire

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli and Lebanese troops exchanged fire on Israel’s northern border; no Israeli soldiers were injured.

Monday’s skirmish was the first on the Israel-Lebanon border since May, when Nakba Day protesters attempted to breach the border. Ten protesters died and more than 100 were injured in that incident. 

On Monday morning, Lebanese soldiers opened fire on Israeli paratroopers on patrol and Israeli forces returned fire, according to reports, some of which said that the paratroopers were taking part in a training exercise. Lebanon claimed that the Israeli soldiers had entered its territory.

Lebanese sources said one of its soldiers was hurt, but the United Nations peacekeeping force has reported no injuries. UNIFIL is investigating the incident but reportedly said that Israeli troops had not crossed into Lebanese territory.

"Israel is not looking to inflame the border," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the clash during a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Netanyahu asserted that the soldiers acted appropriately, saying that "There was an incident, the soldiers in the area acted as necessary. They are determined to protect themselves and the border."

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said following the incident that Israel was "renewing its aggression" on the border.

The border remained quiet following the incident.
 

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