Standing With Israel

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Soldiers at border
Israeli soldiers patrol near an armored vehicle at a temporary roadblock near the Rosh Hanikra border crossing with Lebanon, in northern Israel, December 16, 2013. A Lebanese “rogue” soldier has been detained after killing an Israeli soldier the day before. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)

The Lebanese soldier who shot and killed Israel Defense Forces Master Sgt. Shlomi Cohen in a cross-border attack Sunday night has been detained, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati says.

According to Mikati, the soldier had not been given orders to shoot. The soldier admitted to acting independently and on his own initiative, Mikati says.

Mikati calls the attack “very unusual” and says that an investigation will be conducted. The Lebanese prime minister pledged that the soldier would be held accountable for his actions.

Mikati says Lebanon will continue to abide by all its international commitments.

Lebanese military officers informed their Israeli counterparts of the soldier’s arrest during a meeting at the headquarters of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, near the Rosh Hanikra border crossing, on Monday, Lebanese officials in Beirut have said.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said yesterday that Lebanon promised to punish the soldier who killed Cohen. Ya’alon called the shooting “a grave event.”

“They jailed him, interrogated him, and according to their claims, they will punish him,” Ya’alon said of the soldier. Ya’alon added that Israel has asked to be updated about the case.

Meanwhile, Cohen’s widow, Maayan Cohen, 26, is struggling to cope with the loss of her husband. Family and friends gathered at her apartment in Afula yesterday.

Ya’alon and Israel Navy Commander Vice Adm. Ram Rothberg visited Cohen’s apartment yesterday to express their condolences.

Cohen met her husband when they served together at the naval base in Haifa. They were married two years ago.

“Shahar, our daughter, was born in January this year, and in less than a month we will celebrate her first birthday, without her father,” Cohen told Israel Hayom. “Shlomi was very attached to her. He was an outstanding father.”

Cohen has questions about the circumstances of her husband’s death.

“Why isn’t there a regulation preventing an unaccompanied vehicle from driving next to the border fence?” she asks. “I saw an online video that showed how easy it would be to shoot at anything passing there. This makes me angry. I want to go there, see the vehicle, talk to the doctor and find out everything that happened to Shlomi, and receive answers from the IDF to many questions.”

For the original article, visit israelhayom.com.

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