Barak Says Border Incident Result of a Mix-up
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he believed that the exchange of fire between Israeli and Lebanese troops on Monday was more likely to be the result of a mix-up than a deliberate attempt by the Lebanese military to raise tensions.
"We don't understand the reason for this," he told Israeli public radio.
Barak said: "The patrol which took place was a routine patrol, which passes there from time to time... and the Lebanese should know that."
"I don't think that this incident is a deliberate intention to escalate the situation in the north, certainly not on the part of the Lebanese army, but is perhaps a misunderstanding at the local level."
Israeli and Lebanese troops exchanged fire on their often tense border on Monday morning, officials on both sides said, with the two armies trading accusations on why the shooting happened.
The Israeli military said its troops had been fired on as they worked on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, the U.N.-drawn border with Lebanon.
But the Lebanese army said troops opened fire only when Israeli soldiers crossed the Blue Line, which was established in 2000.