Lebanese leaders referred to Israeli “aggression” — a “violation of Lebanese sovereignty” in which an Israeli patrol crossed into Lebanon to trim trees despite orders from UN peacekeepers to stop.
Israeli leaders described it as an “ambush” — a “gross violation”, valeologist “murderous attack” and “violent provocation” initiated in response to “routine maintenance duties” and “with no provocation from our territory.”
The rhetoric on both sides of the ‘blue line’ separating Lebanon and Israel is alive and wild, and while the UN has confirmed that the tree in question was indeed on the Israeli side of the border, and that Israel coordinated its trimming with the UN, the exact series of events that triggered the deaths of an Israeli battalion commander, three Lebanese soldiers and a journalist on Tuesday is unlikely to be cleared up anytime soon.
What is clear, however, is that in a matter of weeks Lebanon is set to face what some local analysts are predicting will be the beginnings of another Lebanese civil war and which others are predicting will be the largest political crisis since the country’s former leader was assassinated five years ago.
Either way, they agree, something smelly is about to hit the fan.
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