Lebanese media: IDF troops cross border to get spy device
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Lebanese media: IDF troops cross border to get spy device

State-run news agency says Israeli soldiers entered country to retrieve surveillance camera planted last week

A view of Lebanon as seen from the Israeli side of the Israeli-Lebanon on November 10, 2016. (Doron Horowitz/Flash90)
A view of Lebanon as seen from the Israeli side of the Israeli-Lebanon on November 10, 2016. (Doron Horowitz/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers crossed the border into Lebanon on Wednesday in order to remove a surveillance camera, Lebanese media reported.

According to the country’s National News Agency, IDF soldiers entered into Lebanon at dawn to retrieve the spying equipment near the border village of Meiss Ej Jabal, before allegedly taking the device and its transmitter to an Israeli military base.

The army declined to comment on the report.

The Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar television station said that the camera had been planted outside of Meiss Ej Jabal by IDF troops last week, while the Lebanese news site Naharnet described it as a “solar-powered spy camera.”

The reports come after dozens of Lebanese citizens protested over the weekend in response to Hezbollah’s claims that Israeli soldiers had installed a surveillance device inside Lebanon.

Illustrative: IDF soldiers patrol near the border between Israel and Lebanon on May 1, 2013. (Avishag Shaar Yashuv/FLASH90)
Illustrative: IDF soldiers patrol near the border between Israel and Lebanon on May 1, 2013. (Avishag Shaar Yashuv/FLASH90)

A number of the demonstrators crossed the international border, although not the security fence that lies within Israeli territory, before they were dispersed by Israeli soldiers firing tear gas.

Hezbollah’s claims over the past week of alleged Israeli violations of Lebanon’s border come after reports of an Israeli airstrike on a Hezbollah weapons convoy in Syria, and after recent threats made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah against Israel.

Nasrallah has warned a number of times in the past few weeks that Hezbollah would target the Dimona nuclear facility in southern Israel in the next round of fighting between the sides, and has vowed that the terror group would not adhere to any “red lines” in a future conflict.

The Hezbollah chief, who had previously threatened to target an ammonia tank in Haifa, also claimed credit for an Israeli court decision to shut down that facility last week and said he would do the same with the nuclear reactor.

Speaking at a closed-door meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee last week, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said that despite Nasrallah’s threats, the Shiite terror group was not interested in a conflict with Israel in the near future, as “Hezbollah’s [military] operations in Syria have brought about a crisis of morale and finances within its ranks,” the Hebrew-language news site Ynet reported.

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