Israeli soldier killed while on patrol on Lebanese border

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli soldier patrolling Israel’s border with Lebanon was killed by what is believed to be a rogue Lebanese soldier.

Master Sgt. Sholmi Cohen, 31, of Afula, was killed on Sunday night when the Lebanese soldier fired up to seven shots from a pistol at an Israel Defense Forces patrol near an IDF outpost at Rosh Hanikra.

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Israeli reports say several Lebanese soldiers attempted to stop their fellow soldier from perpetrating the attack, jumping on him as he began shooting.

The Lebanese soldier, who went missing after the incident occurred, turned himself in to his base on Monday morning, according to media reports in Lebanon.

Several hours after the incident, Israeli troops shot and injured two Lebanese soldiers after seeing “suspicious movement” along the border, according to an IDF spokesperson.

Both the IDF and the Lebanese army announced that they are investigating the incident that led to the death of the Israeli soldier. Israel also protested the incident to UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, which secures the border with Israel.

Representatives of the Israeli and Lebanese militaries and UNIFIL officials were scheduled to meet to discuss the incident, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said, according to Haaretz. Yaalon said in a statement that Israel holds the Lebanese government and its army responsible for the incident.

“We will not tolerate aggression against the state of Israel, and maintain the right to exercise self-defense against perpetrators of attacks against Israel and its civilians,” said IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.