Last update - 22:26 28/04/2008
Lebanese army: 12 IAF jets fly over Beirut, Lebanese areas
By The Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The Lebanese army said Monday that Israel Air Force warplanes have violated their airspace by flying missions over Beirut and elsewhere in the country.
The Lebanese army said in a statement that "12 enemy Israeli warplanes violated Lebanese airspace before noon Monday, four flew over the Mediterranean off the coastal city of Byblos in the north and headed toward the eastern province of Hermel."
It added that eight other Israeli warplanes flew over the southern town of Rmeish, then headed north to Beirut, the Chouf mountains, southeast of the capital, and Hermel before flying back.
The Israeli overflights lasted about an hour, the statement said.
The Israel Defense Forces when asked about the alleged flyover said "it is our policy not to comment on our operations."
IAF warplanes frequently fly over Lebanese airspace in what Israel says are reconnaissance missions.
Israeli overflights have been a constant source of tension between the Israel and Lebanon. Before the 2006 Second Lebanon War between Israel and the Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based guerilla group habitually opened fire on Israeli planes, with shrapnel from the anti-aircraft fire falling on Israeli communities across the border, causing some casualties.