|ATTACK ON SPANISH TROOPS STRENGTHENS BOND WITH LEBANESE
15 July 2007
An attack on UNIFIL Spanish battalion aimed at creating a split between its soldiers and the local population. It
proved counter-productive. There is now a closer bond.
Inhabitants of Southern Lebanon mourned the six dead Spaniards
as their own children. They were dubbed "martyrs" in defense of the land. Everyone joined to determine the identity
of the perpetrators. Spain, which has two intelligence units stationed in Lebanon (one anti-terrorist, the other
army), was supported by Lebanon's army intelligence, Hezbollah operations and national security forces. Unlike the
densely populated areas, mainly Shiites in the western or central sectors, the point where the booby-trapped car was
placed is difficult to monitor; closer to Israeli border, mixed population of Sunni, Shiite and Christian. The choice
of a Sunday may have been deliberate; it is more difficult to monitor with so many visitors. A general conclusion is
that a fringe militant group was seeking to infiltrate the area and draw attention to its potential spoiler role. It
is non-Lebanese. Some outsiders operating on behalf of other outsiders. The outcome is more vigilance not only by
UNIFIL but by villagers. More commitments were made by local parties to consolidate UNIFIL's task and more
confirmations were made by UNIFIL troops to stay the course. Successive visits by Defense Ministers of participating
countries were no coincidence. Spain and the Lebanese have now bonded through a joint cause and a common sacrifice.