UN observers were injured in an explosion while on patrol in southern Lebanon Israel War on Gaza News

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UNIFIL has said the presence of peacekeepers is “unacceptable” as Israeli forces deny the area where they are fighting.

Three United Nations observers and an interpreter were injured while walking along the border in southern Lebanon when a shell exploded near them, the UN peacekeeping agency said.

The blast happened in Rmeish, a village on the border between Israel and Lebanon.

The mission of the peacekeepers is “unacceptable”, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), a peacekeeping force that helps to monitor the Israeli-Lebanon border, said in a statement on Saturday, adding that it is still investigating the origin of the explosion. .

It also said that “the safety and security of UN staff must be ensured”.

Israel’s military and Iran-allied Hezbollah, which is affiliated with Hamas, have been exchanging fire. near the daily fire crossing the border from October when the present war in Gaza he started.

“All personnel have a responsibility under international humanitarian law to protect non-combatants, including peacekeepers, journalists, medical workers, and civilians,” UNIFIL said. “We reiterate our call for all actors to stop the ongoing firefight to avoid unnecessary casualties.”

Two security sources told the Reuters news agency that the observers were injured in the Israeli airstrike, but the Israeli army denied targeting the area.

“Contrary to reports, a [Israeli military] did not hit a UNIFIL vehicle in Rmeish area this morning,” it said.

Reporting from Beirut, Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr said UN observers and interpreters “were near the blue line, the border between Lebanon and Israel” on foot when the explosion occurred.

The incident was “another alarming development in the escalating conflict, now in its sixth month, between Israel and Hezbollah”, he said.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati spoke to UNIFIL chief Aroldo Lozaro, criticizing the “intentions” of the UN staff, according to a statement from his office.

As previously reported, an explosion earlier today injured three UNIFIL observers and a Lebanese translator who were on patrol in southern Lebanon. Israel, which is suspected of carrying out the attack, has denied any involvement.

Israel’s airstrikes in Lebanon have killed about 270 Hezbollah fighters, but also killed about 50 people – including children, medics and journalists – and defeated UNIFIL and the Lebanese army.

In November, UNIFIL said one of its missions was they are fighting Israeli guns in southern Lebanon, but there were no casualties.

UNIFIL last month said the Israeli army violated international law and shooting a group of well-known journalistskilling a Reuters reporter.

UNIFIL was established in 1978 to monitor the withdrawal of Israeli troops after the occupation of Lebanon in retaliation for the Palestinian invasion.

It was established after the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006, and its approximately 10,000 peacekeepers are tasked with monitoring the cessation of hostilities between the two sides.

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