Spain and Israel to Investigate Death of Soldier in Lebanon

January 30, 2015  

Spain and Israel have agreed to carry out a joint investigation into the death of a Spanish UN peacekeeper who was killed in Lebanon during Israeli shelling near the border, Madrid said on Friday, according to AFP.

The soldier was killed on Wednesday when the Israeli military shelled border areas in retaliation for a Hezbollah attack that left two Israeli soldiers dead, Spanish authorities said.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin 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 on Friday.

“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, blamed Israel for Soria’s death on Wednesday, several hours after the incident.

“It is clear that this was because of the escalation of the violence and it came from the Israeli side,” he told reporters.

The Spanish envoy said he had asked for a full investigation during an emergency meeting of the council called by France to discuss ways to defuse tensions between Israel and Lebanon.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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