Report of Spanish Peacekeeper’s death released

A JOINT report by Spanish and Israeli forces has concluded that the death of Spanish United Nations Peacekeeper Francisco Javier Soria Toledo on January 28 2015, was due to a “calculation error” on the part of Israeli forces.

Corporal Soria was on duty in a lookout post in the Lebanese village of Ghajar, when it was shelled by Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). The IDF admitted that it was their shells that had hit the watchtower, causing the soldier’s death. The shelling was part of an Israeli counterattack following a Hezbollah strike on a convoy.

Israel claimed that weather conditions and visibility had been difficult and this contributed to the calculation error.

Israeli troops had previously known the location of the watchtower where the UN forces were stationed but denied the attack was deliberate. Spanish forces, who had been called as witnesses and were operating nearby at the time of the incident, felt that this was not the case, as the Israeli forces kept adjusting their target closer to the tower

The overall conclusion of the report stated that the IDF soldiers had not properly known the ‘geographical conditions’ when they opened fire, sending more than 200 grenades and shells into the area.

The report suggested applying new regulations to make sure this did not occur again and investigators also went on suggest that cameras should be placed on UN watchtowers to prevent this occurring in the future.

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