United Nation: The UN security council has met in an emergency session to discuss way to defuse tension between Israel and Labanon after a deadly flare up on the border. France requested the urgent talks in the 15-member council on Wednesday, after two Israeli soldiers and a Spanish UN peacekeeper died in an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters.
The violence raised fears of another all-out conflict between the two countries, who fought a month-long war in 2006, in a region already wracked by fighting with Islamist fighters in Syria and Iraq.
“Our objective is to engage toward de-escalation and to prevent further escalation of the situation,” French Ambassador Francois Delattre said as he went into the meeting.
France was to present a draft statement to council members urging restraint.
Tension in the area has been building, especially after an Israeli air strike on the Syrian sector of the Golan Heights killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general on January 18.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations told the Security Council in a letter that Israel will take all necessary measures to defend itself.
“Israel will not stand by as Hezbollah targets Israelis,” wrote Ron Prosor in the letter also sent to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The clashes began when Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at a military convoy in the Israel-occupied border area, prompting Israel to respond with air and ground strikes.
The Israeli envoy demanded that the council condemn Hezbollah and take steps to press Lebanon to disarm the Islamist militants, as outlined in UN resolutions.