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Identical letters dated 11 August 2003 from the Charge d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council
As the Secretary-General noted in the report he submitted to the Security Council on 23 July 2003 (S/2003/728), in his description of the situation in the area of operation of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL): “Israeli air incursions into Lebanon increased overall during the reporting period, though the numbers have declined since early July. UNIFIL recorded almost daily violations across the Blue Line in some weeks. As in the past, many Israeli overflights penetrated deep into Lebanon, often generating sonic booms over populated areas. The pattern identified in my previous reports continued, whereby some aircraft would fly out to sea and enter Lebanese airspace north of the UNIFIL area of operation, thus avoiding direct observation and verification by UNIFIL. These overflights are widely observed by civilians, United Nations personnel and other members of the international community, and reported to UNIFIL by the Lebanese authorities. Israeli air incursions continued despite frequent calls by United Nations officials and a number of concerned Member States that Israel cease these violations.”
At dawn today, Israeli military aircraft made overflights at low altitude, breaking the sound barrier over the capital, Beirut, and causing two powerful sonic booms, the sole purpose of which was to alarm the civilian population. As is indicated in the annexed list of violations and acts of aggression that were recorded by the Lebanese armed forces during the period from 2 to 10 August 2003, Israel has continued to violate Lebanese airspace in the manner to which the Secretary-General referred in his last and other earlier reports. Furthermore, Israeli forces have fired shells and artillery rounds at the environs of the occupied Shab’a farms and the Lebanese border regions. Those violations constitute a small section of the long series of daily and continuing violations of the Blue Line that Israel persists in committing against Lebanon of which we have informed you in previous letters, the most recent being that which appeared as document A/57/844-S/2003/698 dated 10 July 2003. Those Israeli violations and acts of aggression are continuing and, in most cases, extend deep inside Lebanese territory, terrorizi ng and tormenting the Lebanese civilian population and causing material damage, regardless of repeated calls to Israel from the United Nations and the international community to desist and Lebanon’s continual warnings of their dangers and consequences.
While Israel carries out these violations and acts of aggression against Lebanon in a deliberate, programmed and continuous manner, the actions of the Lebanese resistance constitute a reaction to the reality of occupation and to the persistent Israeli violations and acts of aggression that the Secretary-General has described in his successive reports to the Security Council as provocative. The word “provocative” indicates the possibility of a reaction. In this context, Lebanon considers it important to affirm that the actions of the Lebanese resistance are aimed solely against Israeli military targets within occupied Lebanese territory, which Israel itself recognizes as occupied territory, or against Israeli military aircraft that violate Lebanese airspace.
In view of the foregoing, Lebanon calls upon the international community to take the necessary measures to halt the Israeli violations and acts of aggression against Lebanon that constitute a source of instability in the region and threaten international security and peace. Lebanon reserves the right to act as it sees fit in the light of developments in the situation, including the right to urge the Security Council to convene.
I should be grateful if you would have this letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 36 and 160, and of the Security Council.
The most recent Israeli violations and acts of aggression against Lebanon
At 0600 hours a reconnaissance aircraft violated Lebanese airspace off the coast at Sidon and made a circular overflight between Beirut and Sa`diyat. It left at 0900 hours from the coast at Naqurah. During that period, at 0815 hours, a member of the resistance was assassinated when his car was blown up in Kfayyat in the southern suburbs.
3 August 2003
At 1010 and 1230 hours military aircraft overflew the Lebanese areas adjacent to the border and were met with land-based anti-aircraft fire from the resistance.
At 2220 hours two surveillance aircraft violated Lebanese airspace off the coast at Na`imah. They left at 0215 hours on 4 August 2003 from the coast at Naqurah.
4 August 2003
Between 1250 and 1320 hours two helicopters overflew the occupied Shab’a farms.
At 2250 hours a reconnaissance aircraft violated Lebanese airspace off the coast at Sidon and made a circular overflight between Sidon and Beirut. It left at 0200 hours on 5 August 2003 from the coast at Naqurah.
5 August 2003
Between 1045 and 1140 hours enemy forces intermittently fired 120-mm mortar rounds from their post at Ramta. The rounds fell inside the Shab’a farms.
Between 2100 and 2200 hours two helicopters overflew the occupied Shab’a farms.
6 August 2003
At various times between 1040 and 1515 hours and at 2030 hours military aircraft overflew the occupied Shab’a farms.
7 August 2003
At various times between 0805 and 2230 hours two helicopters made three overflights of the occupied Shab’a farms.
8 August 2003
Between 0955 and 1140 hours enemy forces fired a number of artillery and mortar rounds from their posts inside the occupied Shab’a farms, while military aircraft attacked the environs of Kafr Shuba, Rashayya al-Fukhkhar and Ibil al-Saqy, dropping eight air-ground missiles. They were met with land-based anti-aircraft fire from the resistance.
9 August 2003
Between 1200 and 1240 hours a surveillance plane overflew the occupied Shab’a farms.
10 August 2003
Between 1150 and 1230 hours military aircraft overflew the border areas near Naqurah and Bint Jubayl at various altitudes and were met with land-based anti-aircraft fire from the resistance.
At 1300 hours the enemy Israeli radio announced that several anti-aircraft shells which had been fired on military aircraft had fallen on the settlement of Shlomi in the western sector.
Between 1600 and 1735 hours military and reconnaissance aircraft flying at various altitudes overflew the regions of Tyre and Bint Jubayl. At 1620 hours and 1635 hours they attacked the environs of Tayr Harfa in the Wadi al-Zarqa region, firing two air-ground missiles.
Between 1640 and 1650 hours the enemy Israeli forces fired four 120-mm mortar rounds from within the occupied Palestinian territories. The rounds fell in Wadi al-Muthlim between Ramiyah and Bayt Lif.
Between 1750 and 1800 hours the sound of several explosions was heard inside the occupied Shab’a farms. The reason for those explosions was unknown.
In addition to the violations committed in the air and on the ground, Israeli boats on a daily basis fire flares and salvoes from the point where the territorial waters of Lebanon meet those of Palestine.