Friday, July 28, 2006
The United Nations will remove unarmed observers from their posts along the Israel-Lebanon border, moving them in with the peacekeeping force in the area, a spokesman said Friday. UNTSO has about 50 observers in four posts along the border, two of which have already been abandoned - the one that was destroyed at Khiam and a second near the village of Maroun al-Ras, which was abandoned after one of the observers was seriously wounded by Hezbollah gunfire on July 23, said Milos Struger, spokesman for the UNIFIL peacekeepers. Israel's ambassador to the UN ruled out Thursday major UN involvement in any potential international force in Lebanon, saying more professional and better-trained troops were needed for such a volatile situation. Dan Gillerman also said Israel would not allow the United Nations to join in an investigation of an Israeli air strike that demolished a post belonging to the current UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon. Four UN observers were killed in the Tuesday strike.