Lebanon reports 8 IAF overflights in 14 hours

Beirut says Israeli warplanes flew all over the country; some said to be simulating attacks

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israeli warplanes made overflights in Lebanon on Thursday and Friday, various Lebanese media outlets, among them the Hezbollah-linked news website al-Manar, reported.

Al-Manar said eight Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace, while The Daily Star quoted the Lebanese military as saying that a succession of Israeli warplanes flew over the country, culminating in a pair of planes which circled South Lebanon for nearly three hours — raising the total of Israeli overflights in Lebanon to eight in a 14-hour period.

On Thursday, “two Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace entering above the sea west of Sidon and flying over all Lebanese areas as they conducted aerial maneuvers,” the Daily Star quoted a statement from the Lebanese Army as saying.

The army statement went on to list a series of subsequent overflights which took place through the night. According to the statement, the Israeli planes conducted aerial maneuvers in Lebanese airspace, returning to Israel only to be replaced by another sortie of warplanes, which conducted similar maneuvers near Beirut for three hours.

According to the statement, more Israeli warplanes entered Lebanon at 6 am, coming from the sea near Beirut and flying all over Lebanon. The planes returned from southern Lebanon to Israel at 8:50 am, the statement said.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman on Friday condemned Israel’s alleged actions and called on the international community to intervene.

“We call on the international community to pressure Israel to stop its attacks and violations and to commit to abiding by Resolution 1701,” he said.

According to Ynet News, other Lebanese news sources reported that Israeli aircraft were seen flying in unusually high numbers over southern Lebanon during the last two days, and were even seen to be simulating attacks.

Meanwhile Friday, al-Manar reported that UNIFIL and Lebanese military personnel jointly investigated the southern region where Thursday’s Israeli overflights were thought to have taken place.

The combined force reportedly toured the fields of the region.

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