Report: Israel nearly launched major operation against Lebanon last week

France dissuaded Israel from opening a large-scale military operation against Lebanon in response to the border incident which killed Ltc. Dov Harari, the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Wednesday.

French sources told the paper that Defense Minister Ehud Barak had informed French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner that “Israel intends on opening a large-scale military operation to educate the Lebanese Army and avenge the death of the senior Israeli officer.”

This allegedly led to high-rank contacts involving French President Nicolas Sarkozy, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as Egyptian, Jordanian and other Arab state officials.