Vienna, 17 September 2006 - "Nobody can undo the tragic death of Major Hans Peter Lang. But we want to help ensure that such events are not repeated in future, if possible. This is why we are aiming for a comprehensive explanation of how the attack on the UN base Khiam could happen. We owe it to Major Hans Peter Lang’s memory to do everything possible to obtain clarification," said the Foreign Minister, pointing out that both the Israeli army and the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs had apologised for the tragic incident that had happened on account of serious operational errors.
According to the technical briefing given by the Israeli army to Austrian representatives in Tel Aviv last Thursday, a chain of unfortunate circumstances led to the UN observer base in Khiam being shown as a Hezbollah post in the documentation of the Israeli army. Furthermore, no eye contact had ever been established with the clearly marked UN post.
Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik stated that a final assessment would only be possible after the presentation of the report by the UN investigation commission. The UN had requested that no details of the Israeli paper be published before its own report had been completed.
"In my talks in New York next week I shall see to it that the UN investigations are soon completed as well," concluded Plassnik
Contact:Ministry for Foreign Affairs Press Department Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550 Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213abti3(at)bmaa.gv.at