U.N. envoy accuses Israel of border violations with Lebanon

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) - A U.N. envoy accused Israel on Tuesday of violating its border with Lebanon, saying the Jewish state's behavior was ''unnecessary, counterproductive and totally unacceptable.''

The accusations by Sweden's Terje Roed-Larsen followed earlier complaints from Lebanese officials that Israel had committed fresh encroachments across the U.N.-drawn frontier. Plans to deploy U.N. peacekeepers along the border starting Wednesday were put on hold, an official Lebanese statement said.

Larsen said the Israelis were crossing into Lebanese territory at various points along the border and that U.N. peacekeepers confirmed the violations.

Larsen, in his statement, ''expressed his deep disappointment over this Israeli behavior and stressed that these repeated Israeli violations were unnecessary, counterproductive and totally unacceptable.''

The envoy also conveyed to Israeli officials that ''this pattern of behavior had to be changed immediately.''

Larsen, together with the deputy commander of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, were to inspect the border on Wednesday, the statement said.

At United Nations headquarters in New York, the U.N. Security Council warned it would not tolerate any border violations and ''urged the parties to avoid any incident that could lead to an escalation of tensions,'' council president Patricia Durant, Jamaica's ambassador, told reporters.

There was no immediate Israeli comment, but Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh told reporters earlier Tuesday that Israel had fulfilled ''to the last millimeter'' a 1978 Security Council resolution calling for its withdrawal from Lebanon.

It's time, he said, that ''the Lebanese do their part.''

Earlier Tuesday, the Lebanese government had given the green light for the peacekeepers to deploy, saying it was satisfied by a U.N. report that found Israel was no longer violating Lebanese territory.

But in an official statement later in the day, it said the border had been violated at four points between Monday night and Tuesday morning. A meeting of Lebanese army officers and the U.N. peacekeeping force to plan the deployment of peacekeepers was called off until further notice.

Deploying peacekeepers along the border could ease tensions in the region, where anti-Israeli guerrillas have taken control following Israel's May 24 withdrawal from a south Lebanon border strip it had held for 18 years.

Beirut had refused to allow the U.N. deployment or to move its own forces into the border region, because Israeli army posts, patrols and a border fence still encroached in places across the border drawn by the United Nations at the time of Israel's withdrawal.

The two sides have worked for weeks surveying on the border to resolve the claims of violations.

The Lebanese government has prepared a combined force of 500 army troops and 500 policemen to deploy in the south.

About 5,000 U.N. peacekeepers from 11 countries are already stationed north of the border in southern Lebanon. Most have been there since March 1978 when Israeli troops invaded southern Lebanon to push back guerrillas firing on northern Israeli communities. More peacekeepers were expected to arrive.


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