Israeli violation of Lebanese airspace prompts UN complaint

Lebanon complains to UN after Israel 'endangers civilian flights' in Syria strikes
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On Thursday evening Israeli planes allegedly fired a series of missiles into Syria using Lebanese airspace, forcing two civilian planes to reroute and prompting Lebanese anger at the violation of Lebanon's sovereignty and danger to its civilians.
Two civilian flights were temporarily prevented from landing at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport due to Israeli warplanes entering Lebanon's airspace [AFP via Getty Images]

Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab has instructed Lebanon’s UN envoy to raise an urgent complaint against Israel for violating Lebanese sovereignty and endangering passengers on Lebanese flights with recent military strikes on Syria.

Diab said on Friday that "the repeated infringements on Lebanon’s sovereignty by Israel violate UN Resolution 1701," in reference to resolution passed in 2006 which called for an end to a foreign armed presence in Lebanon and an end to the Lebanese-Israeli conflict.

He demanded that the UN and international community condemn Israel’s aggressive actions and take steps to protect Lebanon’s sovereignty and Resolution 1701.

On Thursday evening Israeli planes fired a series of missiles targeting Syrian positions around Damascus and Homs from Lebanese airspace to the southeast of Beirut, according to military sources, as reported by Syria's SANA news agency.

A number of Israeli planes were detected flying at a low altitude in Lebanese airspace, causing panic in many parts of the country and forcing two civilian flights which were headed to Rafic Hariri International Airport to temporarily divert their routes before they were able to safely land.

On Friday, Lebanese Defence Minister Zeina Akar condemned Israel's violation of Lebanese airspace to launch missiles at Syrian targets, stating that the action posed a "direct threat to Lebanese navigation and the safety of civilian flights and had directly infringed on the route of civilian flights".

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Akar stressed that the act also posed also a blatant violation of international agreements, particularly Resolution 1701 and was a threat to the stability and safety of Lebanon.

She called on the UN to acknowledge "the necessity of deterring Israel from carrying out these violations again and using Lebanese airspace to launch attacks against Syria".