Monday, August 09, 2010

Israel, Lebanon, and the Koreas: Deadly Conflicts over Trees in Useless Land

On August 3, 2010 several Lebanese and Israelis were killed and wounded over a tree. Israeli forces began trimming a tree over its security fence because the tree was obstructing a view into Lebanon. Lebanese military forces (not Hezbollah) opened fire and a short conflict erupted.

The United Nations has stated the tree was on the far side of the security fence but still on the Israeli-side of the Blue Line, the United Nations declared border. Using press information that stated the conflict occurred between the Lebanese village of Aadaisseh and the Israeli village of Misgav Am along with photos of the incident I created the map below showing where the tree was. One can also view the area in Google Maps.


The Yellow Line is actually the Blue Line border. The Red Line is the security fence. The blue area is where the tree was. The area is less than 600 feet (about 175 meters) at its widest and less than 1,000 feet (less than 300 meters) long.

The last time a tree along a border was the subject of violence was in 1976 when North Korean soldiers killed American and South Korean soldiers in the Korean demilitarized zone. The Allied forces were removing a tree which was obstructing the view between two observation points along the DMZ. Removing the tree was necessary because the North Koreans had made raids trying to kidnap Allied soldiers using the tree as cover. The North Koreans ambushed the tree cutting patrol with axes. The Allies responded later with a massive show of force and tree cutting campaign.

The green mark is where the Korean DMZ tree was and where the ax murders occurred. The bridge to the west (left) is the infamous Bridge of No Return

The deaths in Israeli-Lebanon and in the Korean DMZ were in theory over one tree in a demilitarized zone. In reality the aggressive side wanted to score some geopolitical points. The trees were in no-man lands. Such is the sad geography where lives are laid down over a tree in useless land.

3 comments:

Ridhi said...

Interesting. I haven't yet verified this. Don't know whether's there's a way. So I thought I'd ask, are there some references that you can put me on to?

Catholicgauze said...

Ridhi,
The UN findings are reported here. Does this help or do you need anything more? Just let me know!

Asia News Girl said...

what is not obvious about this? Asia News Girl