Land berm going up on Lebanon border to thwart Hezbollah
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Land berm going up on Lebanon border to thwart Hezbollah

Seven-mile barrier in the western Galilee will both serve to block enemy infiltration and help IDF offensive measures, commander says

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Israeli army jeeps patrol along the northern Israeli border with Lebanon on July 14, 2014. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)
Israeli army jeeps patrol along the northern Israeli border with Lebanon on July 14, 2014. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

The IDF has begun erecting a dirt berm along Israel’s border with Lebanon to obstruct potential attacks by the Shiite terror group Hezbollah.

The 11-kilometer-long (7 mile) earth barrier is being constructed on a cliff in the northwestern Galilee to prevent the infiltration of Hezbollah terrorists into Israeli communities situated along the border, Channel 2 news reported Tuesday.

The barrier is expected to be extended in the future, according to the report.

“We are executing a significant engineering endeavor, creating obstacles in the terrain so as to use if for our defense,” Col. Alon Mednes, commander of the Baram Brigade which guards the western part of Israel’s northern border, told the TV station. “If and when the enemy decides to attack, it will need to confront not only us, but also the terrain.”

Israeli army soldiers in the Mount Dov region on January 28, 2015, shortly after two soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in a Hezbollah attack (photo credit: AP Photo/ Ariel Schalit)
Israeli army soldiers in the Mount Dov region on January 28, 2015, shortly after two soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded in a Hezbollah attack (photo credit: AP Photo/ Ariel Schalit)

“The ridge is also a good base for [an Israeli] offensive,” Mednes added.

The IDF did not immediately comment on the report when contacted by The Times of Israel.

Israeli fears of Hezbollah’s long-range missile capabilities have lately been compounded by angst over possible land invasions, after residents of border communities reported hearing underground noises, believed to be tunnels dug by Hezbollah.

The IDF conducted drilling in the border village of Zarit in January but revealed no underground activity after concerned residents appealed for help investigating the source of the alleged digging noises.

Some 30 tunnels were demolished by the IDF during last summer’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas, and 11 soldiers were killed inside Israel by gunmen emerging from underground tunnels.

Hezbollah has also managed a number of cross-border attacks in recent years. In January, two soldiers were killed when anti-tank missiles hit their vehicles traveling near the border.

On October 7, 2000, the terror group attacked an Israeli patrol near Mount Dov on the Hermon range, killing IDF soldiers Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan and Omar Sawaed and abducting their bodies into Lebanon.

A similar attack near Moshav Zarit in July 2006, in which reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were killed and their bodies abducted, led Israel to launch the Second Lebanon War.

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