Dozens of Lebanese cross Israeli border during protest
Demonstrators pass international line, though not fence, before being dispersed by IDF troops with smoke grenades, tear gas
Dozens of Lebanese citizens demonstrated on the Israeli border Saturday, and were dispersed by Israeli troops.
Some of the demonstrators crossed the international border line with Israel, though not the security fence which lies inside Israeli territory.
The demonstration took place across from Kibbutz Manara. IDF troops fired smoke grenades and tear gas towards the protesters and the crowds dispersed.
Walla News reported that the demonstration came in response to Hezbollah claims that Israeli troops had crossed the border in the area and installed spying equipment.
עשרות מפגינים בדרום לבנון חצו היום את הגבול הבינ"ל במחאה על "השתלת מתקני ריגול" באותו אזור השבוע. צה"ל פועל לפיזורם. @yoavzitun pic.twitter.com/JDGlSPMjFh
— roi kais • روعي كايس • רועי קייס (@kaisos1987) February 25, 2017
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah this week warned that his terror group would not hold back from attacking sensitive Israeli targets if the Jewish state goes to war with Lebanon.
During a television interview with Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, the terror chief repeated a previous threat to fire rockets at Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona and at an ammonia storage tank in Haifa.
Hezbollah will not keep to any “red lines” in a future war with Israel, Nasrallah cautioned.
Israel and Hezbollah fought a punishing war in 2006, but have maintained a tense calm watched over by UN peacekeepers on the border since then, punctuated by several deadly cross-border incidents.
Israeli officials have raised alarms in recent years that Hezbollah may be bolstering its positions in southern Lebanon and in the Syrian Golan Heights, and a court recently ordered the ammonia tank in the city of Haifa to be shut amid fears a missile strike on the facility could cause mass casualties.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who draws support from Hezbollah, recently called for the terror group to remain armed to “resist Israel,” despite a UN resolution forbidding militias in Lebanon.
On Sunday, an Arabic newspaper reported that Nasrallah’s threats last week came after Israel passed a message to Hezbollah warning it of a forceful response to any attack from Lebanon or Syria, where Hezbollah has been helping prop up Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime by fighting against rebel groups seeking to oust him.
The message was passed along to the Lebanon terror group via an unnamed Arab emissary, according to a report in the Arabic-language London-based Al-Hayat newspaper. It was not clear exactly when Israel sent the message or what prompted it.
On Wednesday Syrian media reported that Israeli aircraft targeted Syrian Army positions, including a convoy bearing weapons for Hezbollah.