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Media Backspin
« Photo Bias Rampant In the Media | Main | News You Might Have Missed »

Wednesday, August 4 2010

A Pre-Arranged Spontaneous Border War?

UNIFIL_and_LAF Tim Marshall of Sky News hits the nail on the head:

The small southern Lebanese village of Adeesa is not known as a place journalists hang out in in case something happens. So it's curious that several Lebanese reporters, cameramen and photographers were there with the Lebanon Army before Tuesday's shooting match with Israel.

The Israelis often cut down/trim the trees at that location of the border as it is high ground and gives them a clear line of sight down into the Lebanese villages. On Tuesday, the IDF Tree Surgeons Brigade, or whatever it is called, as is usual, informed the UN of plans to clear trees on their side. This was at 0600 and the job would begin at 0900. The UN requested a delay to prepare their monitoring force, told the Lebanese Army of the timings, and the clearing began at 11.00.

The United Nations has made clear that the Israelis were operating on their own side of the border, and frequently conduct brush clearing and tree felling. This has always been watched by the Lebanese Army, usually without incident.

The Israeli media were either unaware of Tuesday routine plans or didn't deem them newsworthy - 'IDF cuts down tree again shock!' would have been trimmed by the editor.

But, across the border by 11.00 the Lebanese media had gathered to film this routine event. Which begs the question; Why? One of them paid with his life,killed by Israeli fire, another was shot in the leg. At least 3 Lebanese soldiers died as did a senior Israeli officer.

There is no proof that someone on the Lebanese side tipped the media off that a routine operation was about to turn into a major incident which someone wanted to be filmed. But it's quite a coincidence.

Related reading: A Deadly Game in Lebanon


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