Israel's Deputy FM Conveys Condolences to Spain Over Death of UNIFIL Soldier

Deputy FM Tzachi Hanegbi stresses Israel's excellent relationship with UNIFIL forces in Lebanon, particularly the Spanish force stationed there.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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U.N. peacekeepers from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
U.N. peacekeepers from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.Credit: Reuters
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi met Thursday with Spanish Ambassador to Israel Fernando Carderera Soler to express Israel's condolences over the death of a United Nations peacekeeper in Lebanon a day earlier.

Hanegbi stressed Israel's excellent relations with UNIFIL in general and the Spanish forces in particular. Hanegbi thanked the Spanish government for its restrained response in the wake of the tragic event.

On Wednesday, two Israeli soldiers were killed and seven wounded after their unarmored vehicle was hit by an anti-tank missile near the Lebanon border. IDF forces responded with artillery fire, shelling several targets in southern Lebanon. The Spanish UNIFIL soldier, stationed in Lebanon, was killed in the strikes.

Also on Wednesday, Spain's ambassador to the United Nations blamed Israel for the peacekeeper's death, "it was because of this escalation of violence, and it came from the Israeli side," Spanish Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi told reporters.

The UN peacekeeper has been identified as 36-year-old Cpl. Francisco Javier Soria Toledo.

The UN Security Council condemned the peacekeeper's death in the strongest terms and offered its deepest sympathies.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has launched an investigation into the death the peacekeeper who was evidently hit by Israeli artillery fire on the border with Lebanon.

A statement released by the mission on Wednesday said that the precise cause of his death is as yet undetermined.

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