H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon
I wish to address yesterday's consultations and Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) briefings at the Security Council regarding the provocative attack by Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) against an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) unit. As I noted yesterday in my letter to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, the IDF unit - having notified UNIFIL well in advance of its plans - was conducting routine maintenance of the Technical Fence south of the Blue Line.
Since yesterday's briefings and consultations took place hours after the incidents in question and were based only upon initial reports, the facts have become more evident, as reflected by, inter alia, statements by UNIFIL representatives. A UNIFIL spokesperson stated today: "UNIFIL established … that the trees being cut by the Israeli Army are located south of the Blue Line on the Israeli side."
Due to the severity of this attack by the LAF, Israel expects DPKO and UNIFIL to promptly conclude their briefing in an informative and comprehensive manner in order to share with the Security Council all of the available facts regarding this serious event. As the Security Council approaches the consideration of the mandate of UNIFIL, such a briefing will serve the Council in its important discussions in order to help prevent a reoccurrence of this grave incident.
In order to fully address this matter, I wish to inform you that this identical letter has been sent to H.E. Mr. Vitaly I. Churkin, President of the United Nations Security Council, and H.E. Mr. Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.
Allow me, Excellency, to renew to you the assurances of my highest consideration.
Charge d'Affaires, ad interim