A video posted online on Friday claims to show an Israeli strike that reportedly killed a Spanish UN peacekeeper in Lebanon Wednesday during Israel and Hezbollah’s exchanges of fire along the border.
The Israeli shelling that is said to have killed Lance Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo came after Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at Israeli army vehicles near the border, killing two soldiers and injuring seven. Israel responded to that attack, and the firing of four more missiles at the Israeli convoy, with strikes from the air and from the ground, one of which apparently hit a UN position. Israeli leaders have sent their condolences to the Spanish government and have promised to investigate the incident.
In the video uploaded to YouTube several men are heard conversing in Spanish inside a vehicle, looking out at what appears to be a UNIFIL compound in south Lebanon.
The men’s initially relaxed tones suddenly become frightened and are then replaced by screams and shouts as something explodes inside the compound, throwing dust and debris into the air.
The camera then falls to the cameraman’s side as he appears to duck for cover, before the video abruptly ends.
British tabloid The Daily Star reported that the video was receiving significant media attention in the Spanish press, though it was unconfirmed that it did indeed show the incident in which Soria Toledo was killed.
Madrid said on Friday that Spain and Israel have agreed to carry out a joint investigation into the corporal’s death.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy “to express his condolences and sadness at the death in Lebanon of Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo”, Rajoy’s office said in a statement.
“Both leaders agreed to carry out a joint Israeli-Spanish investigation to clarify what happened and to collaborate with the investigation being carried out by the United Nations.”
The 36-year-old corporal was part of the 10,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL, which includes 600 Spanish soldiers.
Spain’s ambassador to the UN, Roman Oyarzun, told reporters on Wednesday that Soria had been killed by Israeli fire.
AFP contributed to this report.