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Israeli fire killed UN peacekeeper in January, official says

IDF didn’t intend to harm Spanish Cpl. Francisco Javier Soria Toledo in exchange with Hezbollah on Lebanese border

A Spanish UNIFIL peacekeeper drives an armored vehicle in the Lebanese town of Adaisseh, near the border with Israel, on January 19, 2015. (AFP/Mahmoud Zayyat)
A Spanish UNIFIL peacekeeper drives an armored vehicle in the Lebanese town of Adaisseh, near the border with Israel, on January 19, 2015. (AFP/Mahmoud Zayyat)

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli security official says the Israeli military was responsible for the death of a Spanish UN peacekeeper during an outbreak of violence between Israel and Hezbollah militants on the tense Israel-Lebanon border in January.

The official said on Tuesday that Cpl. Francisco Javier Soria Toledo was accidentally killed by Israeli artillery following a Hezbollah attack that killed two Israeli soldiers.

The official says Israel did not intend to harm UN forces. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to talk to reporters.

After the incident, Spain’s UN ambassador blamed Israel and the UN Security Council condemned the killing. A UN diplomat said Israel apologized to Spain, but Israel had not publicly admitted responsibility.

Israel’s military presented its investigation of the incident to the Spanish army.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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