BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Mansour: Israeli air breaches pose danger to region

Lebanon's Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour attends a preparatory meeting with Arab foreign ministers ahead of the annual Arab League Summit in Doha March 24, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer (QATAR - Tags: POLITICS)

BEIRUT: Caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said Saturday that Israel’s ongoing violations of Lebanese airspace would not provide it the security it seeks and urged the international community to help end such breaches from taking place in the future.

“Such attacks will result in more tension and it will not provide Israel with the security and peace it wants in its own way but will push the region toward more conflicts and lead it to the unknown,” said Mansour in a statement.

“Such attacks place the international community in front of its responsibilities and requires it to compel Israel to respect international resolutions, particularly [United Nations Resolution] 1701,” said Mansour.

Israel has intensified the rate of its flights over Lebanese airspace over the past several days, a development security sources attribute to the monitoring of cross-border weapons transfers with Syria.

In contrast to the routine near-daily flight patterns by Israeli jets, unusual flight patterns were recorded in the last 48 hours by the Lebanese Army.

Israeli planes continued to breach Lebanon’s airspace overnight Friday with sighting over the capital as well as northern and southern areas of the country.

According to the Lebanese Army, Israeli jets flew over the coast of Batroun and Shekka, both in north Lebanon, parts of south Lebanon and the capital.

“Between 8 p.m. and 11.05 p.m. [Friday], four Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace over the maritime areas in Shekka and Batroun and executed circular flights above different Lebanese areas,” the Army said in a statement Saturday.

Between 10 p.m. and 1:35 a.m. the planes began exiting Lebanese airspace from the southern towns of Alma Shaeb and Rmeish, the Army said.

Another plane, according to the Army statement, violated Lebanon’s airspace at 10.30 p.m., flying over Naqoura, southern Lebanon. It exited Lebanese airspace at 3 a.m. Saturday after flying over Beirut, Riaq, Baalbek and Hermel.

President Michel Sleiman condemned Friday the recent Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty, calling them a continuation of the Jewish state’s “policy of intimidation” and a bid to destabilize the country.

 

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