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News Brief

November 6, 2006
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Germany criticized Israel for continuing surveillance flights over Lebanon. “That Israel is still trying to control the airspace over Lebanon despite the international presence of French, Italian and other soldiers runs contrary to every agreement,” German Deputy Foreign Minister Gernot Erler said in a newspaper interview published Saturday. He was referring to Israeli overflights that have continued in contravention of a U.N.-brokered truce that ended the war with Hezbollah on Aug. 14. Israel says it needs the flights to monitor continued arms smuggling to the Lebanese militia, which also is a violation of the cease-fire. The tension has led some Western power brokers to suggest that the bolstered U.N. peacekeeper force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, could end up firing on Israeli aircraft in what would be billed as self-defense.

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