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2 Sudanese migrants arrested after crossing into Israel from Lebanon

Border breach prompts army to shoot up flares, alarming local residents, before incident is determined to not be security-related

Illustrative: The Israeli military fires flares into the sky over the Lebanese border on August 25, 2020. (Courtesy)
Illustrative: The Israeli military fires flares into the sky over the Lebanese border on August 25, 2020. (Courtesy)

The Israel Defense Forces on Saturday night arrested two suspects who crossed the border from Lebanon, in an incident that briefly sparked a scare of a possible Hezbollah infiltration.

The men were Sudanese migrants who had apparently crossed the border to seek work in Israel.

They were spotted by soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras as they breached the security fence and were picked up by troops shortly after entering Israeli territory.

“They are being interrogated at the scene,” the military said.

Earlier, the army fired flare shells near the border after detecting the suspected breach in order to assist the troops on the ground find the men. Local residents reported hearing the sound of explosions, likely the launching of the shells, according to Hebrew media.

The breach was quickly established to be unrelated to Israel’s ongoing tensions with the Iran-backed terror group in Lebanon, following Friday’s assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist that has been attributed to Israel.

In recent months, dozens of Sudanese migrants have attempted to enter the Jewish state in search of work in light of the ongoing Lebanese economic crisis, which has left many of the country’s foreign workers unemployed or underpaid.

The military has also warned of growing instability on the frontier with a rise in smuggling efforts — both guns and drugs — in recent months, in addition to the migrant workers crossing the border.

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