Spanish UNIFIL peacekeepers patrol the border village of Abbassieh, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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A Spanish UNIFIL peacekeeper killed three weeks ago by an Israel artillery shell following Hezbollah's missile attack on an Israeli army convoy appears to have fallen victim to the Hannibal Protocol – the controversial Israeli policy of preventing the kidnapping of a soldier even at the expense of his life.No Israeli soldiers were abducted in Hezbollah's Jan. 28 attack.During Israel's bombardment, the observation tower in a Spanish UNIFIL position at Abbasieh, 1 kilometer east of Ghajar, took a direct hit from an artillery shell, killing Cpl.Hezbollah conducted an operation in November 2005 to kidnap Israeli soldiers from Ghajar, but was unsuccessful.The protocol was invoked again on July 12, 2006, after Hezbollah snatched two soldiers from across the Blue Line near Aita Shaab.That statement prompted an anonymous Israeli officer to complain two days later that Hezbollah was conducting "intelligence-gathering operations" along the Blue Line every day, "often under UNIFIL's noses".UNIFIL has a long history of suffering casualties at the hands of Israeli artillery and airpower.
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