Lebanon complains to U.N. over maritime breach by Israel.
BEIRUT: Lebanon accused Israel Monday of violating its sovereignty in a written complaint to the U.N. over an alleged breach of its maritime boundary, as Israeli warplanes conducted extensive overflights across regions of the south and Bekaa Valley.
The complaint detailed an Israeli war boat breaching Lebanese territorial waters on Feb. 6, which then fired medium artillery shots toward a nearby area of the eastern Mediterranean.
"This breach is a barefaced violation of Lebanon's sovereignty, [U.N. Security Council] Resolution 1701, the international law and the U.N. Charter. It constitutes a menace for international peace and security," said a statement by the Foreign Ministry.
Foreign Minister Ali Shami asked Lebanon's mission to the United Nations in New York to contact the necessary Security Council members to follow up on the complaint, according to the state-run National News Agency (NNA).
Several Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace Monday, the NNA also reported.
"Four Israeli warplanes violated today Lebanese airspace as of 9:50 a.m. above the Shebaa Farms," said a Lebanese Army communique. "The planes left at 11:20 a.m. over Alma Shaab village toward the occupied zone, after they [conducted] u-shaped flights [over] Lebanese regions."
The NNA also reported that "Israeli war planes flew Monday, at 10:15 a.m., at medium altitude over the Bekaa Valley reaching to Baalbeck and executed circular flights over eastern and western [mountain] chains."
The agency added that several Israeli jets had conducted surveillance and mock air raid maneuvers over the Shebaa Farms and parts of the occupied Golan Heights.
Both Lebanon and Israel routinely complain to New York over what each alleges to be violations of national sovereignty and international law. Security Council Resolution 1701 was drafted in the wake of the devastating 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel and stipulates that both countries respect each other's borders.
The U.N.'s special coordinator for Lebanon, Michael Williams, said Monday his organization expected Lebanon to continue complying with U.N. law and its international obligations.
Following a meeting with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea, Williams said that a new government would need to stay the course of cooperation that previous administrations had shown keenness to abide to.
"We talked a little about the formation of a new government," Williams told reporters. "We C* expect a new Cabinet to continue to respect Lebanon's international obligations." -- The Daily Star
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