There is no excusing the senseless murder of an IDF soldier shot while removing a tree on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border. It was obscuring a security camera (although why the camera could not be moved rather than the tree is the kind of question only Jon Stewart seems to ask). Stephen Walt echoes Juan Cole:
This incident underscores the fragility of the current peace between Israel and Lebanon. When security is precarious, military personnel will be more inclined to shoot first and ask questions later, and may also engage in provocative actions to show that they can't be intimidated. The problem is that this is all very risky, especially in this context.
The Lebanese sniper who killed an IDF colonel was firing from 80 meters away; this was no mistake. The colonel, whose epaulets would be seen clear as day in the sniper scope, was targeted intentionally. And why were there so many journalists in the area, an otherwise quiet and distant stretch of border, far from Beirut? What I can't figure out yet is the why of this.
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