Netanyahu: Lebanon Ambush a 'Violent Provocation'

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METULLA, Israel -- The Israel-Lebanon border was quiet Wednesday after deadly clashes between the Israeli and Lebanese armies Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident a "violent provocation" and warned Israel's response to any further attack would be aggressive.

It was the first time trouble had erupted on the Israel-Lebanon border in four years. Artillery and automatic weapons fire could be heard in the distance for more than 30 minutes.

A senior Israeli army officer was killed and a second seriously wounded. Three Lebanese soldiers were also killed in the fighting.

The conflict began when an Israeli maintenance crew crossed Israel's security fence but not the international border. A Lebanese army sniper then opened fire on the group provoking the skirmish.

Israel charged the attack was a well-planned ambush.

Meanwhile, The United Nations peacekeeping forces in the area have confirmed Israel had coordinated its work ahead of time. In addition, Israel released a photo showing the location of the attack, clearly on Israel's side of the international border.

"The U.N. announcement today clearly corroborates the Israeli version of events," said Mark Regev, an Israeli government spokesman in a written statement. "Our routine activity yesterday was conducted entirely SOUTH of the frontier -- on the Israeli side -- and that the Lebanese Army opened fire without any provocation or justification what-so-ever."

The clash was the worst since the end of the Israeli-Hezbollah war in 2006. Although the fighting was between the Israeli and Lebanese armies, some believe the Iranian-backed Hezbollah works with the army.

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah praised the Lebanese army and threatened to join the fighting against Israel next time.

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Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Jerusalem Reporter

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