army commander General Jean Kahwaji said Thursday that the fatal incident,
which took place last week on the Israel-Lebanon
border and left one Israeli officer and four Lebanese dead, would not repeat itself. He clarified that the Lebanese army had no plans to launch a war against Israel.
Speaking with newspaper editors in Beirut, Kahwaji said steps were being taken to cooperate with UNIFIL in order to prevent such an incident from repeating itself.
He added, however, that the Israelis were the ones who sparked the incident. "The tree they wanted to trim may be on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, but there is also a road there, which is used by the Lebanese and the army. The Israelis acted systematically and we decided to respond by firing in the air," he explained.
On Wednesday, Lebanon's defense minister lashed out at
an American decision to halt aid to his country's army in the wake of a deadly border clash with Israel, protesting that aid was being made conditional.
"Whoever sets as a condition that the aid should not be used to protect Lebanon's land, people and borders from the (Israeli) enemy can keep their money," Defense Minister Elias Murr told a news conference. "Let them keep their money or give it to Israel. We will confront (Israel) with the capabilities we own."
Meanwhile Friday, Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar reported that the Hezbollah
organization had no plans to hand documents allegedly linking Israel to the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to the international tribunal probing the assassination.
The newspaper, which is affiliated with the Shiite group, reported that Hezbollah would not hand over the "data exposed
by (Secretary-General Hassan) Nasrallah"
to prosecutor Daniel Bellemare.
According to the sources, Hezbollah has no intention of cooperating with the tribunal, which it does not trust, but is ready to hand the information over to the Lebanese authorities or any other reliable investing element.