IDF apprehends 3 suspects caught crossing border from Lebanon
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IDF apprehends 3 suspects caught crossing border from Lebanon

Incident does not appear to be attempted attack, army says; earlier, troops fired warning shots at shepherd who neared fence

Illustrative: Israeli troops take part in a drill in northern Israel, May 13, 2020. (Tsafrir Abayov/AP)
Illustrative: Israeli troops take part in a drill in northern Israel, May 13, 2020. (Tsafrir Abayov/AP)

Israeli troops on Friday apprehended three suspects caught trying to cross from Lebanon into Israel, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

“IDF troops were present at the scene and monitored the suspects, who were apprehended during their attempt to cross the security fence. The incident does not appear to be an attempted terror attack,” the statement said.

The incident came after a number of recent attempts to breach the border fence, including by Sudanese migrants apparently looking for work. Lebanon is in the midst of a massive economic crisis, made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier Friday, Israeli soldiers fired warning shots after a suspect in Lebanon neared the border with Israel.

The shepherd approached the border near Mount Dov, also known as Shebaa Farms, a contested area that is claimed by Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

He was spotted by IDF lookouts before troops fired warning shots in the air.

Israel Radio quoted IDF sources saying the Hezbollah terror group has increasingly been using shepherds to gather intelligence on the military’s operations in the area. There were no reports of injuries.

Last month, Israel accused the Iran-backed Hezbollah of being responsible for vandalizing portions of the security fence along the border — which was seen in Israel as a threat — and Foreign Minister Israel Katz instructed the Foreign Ministry to file a complaint at the UN Security Council.

Also last month, IDF troops and Lebanese army soldiers faced off near the border in a highly irregular incident, with photos from the scene showing the two sides raising weapons at each other and UN personnel standing in between.

Israel has fought two wars in Lebanon, one in 1982 against Palestinian terrorists and one in 2006 against the Lebanese Hezbollah, as well as numerous operations against terror groups in the country.

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