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UN envoy calls for halt to Israeli violations of withdrawal line, retaliatory fire from Lebanese side

UN envoy calls for halt to Israeli violations of withdrawal line, retaliatory fire from Lebanese side

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A United Nations envoy today called on Israel to end its overflights of the region and for the Lebanese side to stop its retaliatory anti-aircraft fire, reminding the parties that one violation cannot justify another.

Staffan de Mistura, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon, expressed his great dismay at the disruption this morning of the relative calm along the so-called Blue Line, which marks the border between Israel and Lebanon after the withdrawal of Israeli troops.

According to a UN spokesman, there were numerous Israeli air violations of the Blue Line and of Lebanese airspace. Shortly afterward, anti-aircraft fire from the Lebanese side of the Line was reported, with indications that some anti-aircraft shells led to some damage on the ground in Israel.

Israeli jets subsequently attacked two suspected Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon. "Fortunately, no casualties have been reported so far on either side," the spokesman said.