UN envoy in Lebanon calls for end to Israeli violations of Blue Line

20 April 2001

A United Nations official in Lebanon today called for an end to the numerous Israeli air violations of the withdrawal line, known as the "Blue Line," which he said were of heightened concern amid the current tense climate.

"Today, we heard two sonic booms over Beirut," said Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General's Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon, following a meeting with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud. "These are clear -- and loud -- violations of the Blue Line, and of Security Council resolutions," he noted, adding that the overflights were "particularly unhelpful at this time of tension in the region."

"Such actions cause unfair concern among the population and should be stopped," the envoy declared.

According to Mr. de Mistura, today marked the 342nd violation of Lebanese airspace by the Israeli Air Force since 1 August 2000. He said the UN has complained informally about such violations, which are also recorded in reports to the Security Council.


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