Around 10:30am on August 3rd, a group of IDF soldiers was clearing brush long the Israel-Lebanon border fence when a sniper began firing. The Israelis were reportedly in two groups, and the more senior officers from the group were the ones that took completely unprovoked fire.
The attack left IDF Lieutenant Colonel Dov Harari, a reserve officer, dead, and another officer critically wounded. It is important to note that, according to another source, the attacks took place at the location where IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and first sergeant Eldad Regev were kidnapped by Hezbollah, and subsequently murdered, at the beginning of the 2006 war.
In retaliation, Israel attacked several Lebanese military positions. In the attacks, according to a horribly biased story in the LA Times, three Lebanese soldiers and one member of the press were killed. YNet reports that the counter-fire where two soldiers and the reporter were killed was in the immediate defensive move by the IDF. That also leads me to wonder, what was a reporter doing with the Lebanese military along the Israeli border?
I also wonder if they were actually Lebanese soldiers, or if they were Hezbollah terrorists in disguise. While Israeli-Lebanese relations have never been good, I find it very difficult to believe that any enlisted members of the Lebanese Army would fire on Israelis standing on the Israeli side of the border. Either there was a huge misunderstanding and miscommunication, or this was a planned ambush against Israel. Even UNIFIL said that the Israeli activity on the border did not warrant a violent response, so something else must be going on.
I hope we are not on the brink of the 2010 Lebanon War, but at this point I would not be incredibly surprised. I hope, though, that both sides have level heads and can move on without any further violence. But if it is drawn into a war, I hope the IDF has a swift and decisive win and that Israel’s soldiers all come home safely.