In January 2005, Hezbollah planted five camouflaged “improvised explosive devices” (IEDs), inches on the Israeli side of the border near Zarit, 15 mountainous miles inland from the Mediterranean coast. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) detected these IEDs and, following procedure, notified UNIFIL. A French UNIFIL engineer duly certified that the devices were indeed IEDs, then “requested” that Hezbollah remove them.
Hezbollah, not denying it had planted them, flatly refused, stating that since the mines were (just barely) inside the “Zionist” border, it was up to the “Zionists” to remove them. So the IDF sent in a large armored bulldozer to carry the mines off for disposal. This task required making a sharp 90-degree right turn from an Israeli road onto the narrow border trail where the IEDs were located. Making this sharp right turn, the left front corner of the bulldozer inevitably occupied, for a couple of seconds, about a meter of land on the Lebanese side. During those seconds a Hezbollah fighter directed an anti-tank missile at the narrow, unguarded windshield of the bulldozer.
The pinpoint strike, which our Israeli sources have admitted required extraordinary training and skill, killed the bulldozer’s driver, Sgt. Maj. Jan Rotzanski, a 21-year-old Russian immigrant from Herzliya. The cynical cruelty of this murder, which Hezbollah proceeded to widely celebrate across Lebanon, speaks volumes not only about Hezbollah, but also about UNIFIL.
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