JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said an Israeli patrol on the northern border responded correctly to Lebanese gunfire early Monday morning.
They "behaved as they were supposed to," Netanyahu later told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "They are determined to defend themselves and the border."
Israeli soldiers were on a routine patrol near the Hatzbani River when Lebanese troops opened fire on them. The patrol returned fire, afterward filing a complaint with UNIFIL - the U.N. peacekeeping forces - who confirmed the IDF report.
Lebanon claimed the patrol had crossed the border. Ignoring the UNIFIL report, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman accused Israel of aggression.
"The Israeli enemy tried again to revert back to attacks and provocations in the Wazani region, but you [Lebanese Army] stood your guard," Suleiman told his soldiers.
Lebanese media reported the patrol had fired on a Lebanese military base.
UNIFIL spokesman Neera Singh refuted Lebanon's claims.
A year ago almost to the day, Lebanese troops crossed the border to ambush an IDF maintenance crew near the northern Israeli town of Metula, killing Lt. Col. Dov Hariri and seriously wounding two soldiers.
IDF Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot called the attack "a planned ambush" by the Lebanese army.
Following the incident, the Lebanese said they would refrain from similar attempts in the future.