Lebanese Soldier ‘Returns to Post’ After Deadly Shooting

December 16, 2013  

The Lebanese soldier who shot dead IDF First Sergeant Shlomi Cohen in an unprovoked attack Sunday evening is already back at his post on the Israel-Lebanon border, according to reports.

According to Lebanese media, after briefly disappearing in the aftermath of the attack and spending the night “hiding in a bush”, the unnamed soldier reported for duty at the Lebanese General Security post at the Ras al-Naqoura border crossing, where he committed the shooting just hours earlier.

31 year-old Shlomi Cohen, a resident of the northern Israeli city of Afula, was killed after the Lebanese soldier fired around half a dozen bullets towards him, before reportedly being stopped by his comrades and then promptly fleeing.

The attacker is believed to have acted alone, but news that he has reported back for duty will draw scrutiny from the Israeli government – which has already lodged a stern complaint with the United Nations – as it remains to be seen what disciplinary action, if any, will be taken in response by the Lebanese military.

Meanwhile, the IDF has said that it is still investigating the incident, and stressed that it “is ready for any action that will be required and will not tolerate any harm to Israeli citizens,” adding that “The IDF reserves the right to respond when and where it sees fit”.

The shooting comes amid simmering tensions along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.

Earlier this month, Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah blamed the assassination of a senior commander on Israel, despite two Sunni Islamist groups claiming responsibility.

Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon reacted to those accusations by warning the Iranian-backed organization against attacking Israel in revenge for Hassan Hawlo al-Lakiss’s killing, which took place east of the Lebanese capital Beirut.

Just this past Thursday, an IDF patrol came under fire in the northern Galilee, near the border with Lebanon. IDF soldiers returned fire, and no injuries were reported.

But tensions were high even prior to Al-Lakiss’ assassination.

In August, four Israeli soldiers on patrol were wounded in a blast 400 meters inside Lebanese territory.

Hezbollah took credit for the explosion, its first such claim since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

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