Mon. Apr 15th, 2024
alert-–-serving-australian-defence-force-member-injured-in-blast-on-israel-lebanon-borderAlert – Serving Australian Defence Force member injured in blast on Israel-Lebanon border

An n Defence Force member involved in United Nations peacekeeping operations in southern Lebanon has been injured in an explosion.

The serving member’s injuries are not life-threatening, the Defence Department confirmed to AAP on Sunday.

The member was deployed as part of Operation Paladin, under which supports the UN organisation overseeing truces across Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

An n Defence Force member involved in United Nations peacekeeping operations in southern Lebanon has been injured in an explosion.

An n Defence Force member involved in United Nations peacekeeping operations in southern Lebanon has been injured in an explosion.

The peacekeeping mission, known as UNIFIL, is stationed in southern Lebanon to monitor hostilities between Lebanon and Israel.

The member was transported to a health centre at a nearby military base for treatment after being injured on Saturday and has since been released to recover, a Defence Department spokesperson said.

“Defence is taking the appropriate steps to ensure the safety and welfare of the member,” they added.

The n, who was with two UN military observers and a Lebanese translator, was undertaking a routine patrol to monitor activity near the Israeli-Lebanon border.

Lebanese armed group Hezbollah has been trading fire with the Israeli military across the demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel, known as the Blue Line, since October in parallel with the war in Gaza.

UNIFIL and UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres have condemned the shelling, saying the targeting of peacekeepers is unacceptable.

UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti said in a statement an investigation is underway to discover who was responsible.

“Safety and security of UN personnel must be guaranteed,” Mr Tenenti said.

“All actors have a responsibility under international humanitarian law to ensure protection to non-combatants, including peacekeepers, journalists, medical personnel, and civilians.

“We repeat our call for all actors to cease the current heavy exchanges of fire before more people are unnecessarily hurt.”

The source of the attack is still known but the Israel Defence Force has denied involvement.

“Contrary to the reports, the IDF did not strike a UNIFIL vehicle in the area of Rmeish this morning,” it said in a statement overnight.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Penny Wong has reiterated ‘s call on Israel’s Netanyahu government to allow aid into the besieged Gaza Strip as the humanitarian situation worsens.

“We know that people are in desperate need,” she told Sky News on Sunday.

“I again reiterate the need for the Netanyahu government to allow aid to Gaza.”

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