Thursday, July 27, 2006

Produce the UNIFIL Documents, Kofi!

Benny Avni provides more details about the Israel-UN imbroglio over the deaths of the four peacekeepers:
A senior U.N. peacekeeping operation official who briefed the press yesterday, however, said that on the day the deaths occurred, the only "known Hezbollah activity was 5 kilometers away."The official's briefing was conditioned on anonymity, but the undersecretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Jane Holl Lute, supplied the Security Council with similar information at an earlier briefing yesterday.

"To our knowledge, unlike the vicinity of some of our other patrol bases, Hezbollah firing was not taking place within the immediate vicinity" of the base that was hit Tuesday...

A spokesman for the peacekeeping operation department, Nicholas Birnbach, told the Sun yesterday that when the U.N. official told reporters that there was no Hezbollah activity within three miles of the U.N. camp, she was referring only to the Monday incident and not to the time period of several days earlier described in the UNIFIL observer's e-mail.

Mr. Birnbach, however, declined to produce a UNIFIL report that would back up Ms. Lute's assertion that there was no Hezbollah activity in the immediate vicinity of the post, which was manned by three other observers beside Hess-von Kruedener.

Mr. Annan and the peacekeeping official yesterday said they now "accept" Prime Minister Olmert's conveyance of regret over the incident.

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