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IDF arrests 2 men who entered Israel from Lebanon; terror not suspected

Suspects apparently Turkish migrants seeking work; hunt for infiltrators took over 12 hours

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A suspect is arrested after entering Israel from Lebanon. June 7, 2021 (Israel Defense Forces)
A suspect is arrested after entering Israel from Lebanon. June 7, 2021 (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israel Defense Forces on Monday arrested two men who crossed illegally into Israel from Lebanon, following a 12-hour manhunt.

The suspects, apparently Turkish migrants seeking work, were caught in an area near the security fence that is densely covered with brush and trees, according to the military.

The arrests came after hours of searches in the area, including roadblocks and helicopter flyovers.

The IDF on Sunday night said the border breach did not appear to be terror-related.

According to the IDF, troops along the frontier “spotted the tracks of two people near the security fence on the Lebanon border.”

Flares were fired into the air and large numbers of troops were dispatched to the scene, along with helicopters, according to the military and residents of the area. Several roadblocks were also set up in the area.

As a precaution, residents of nearby communities were told to remain in their homes. That restriction was lifted several hours later.

“The incident will be investigated,” the IDF said.

While there have been cases of members of the Hezbollah terror group attempting to infiltrate Israel from southern Lebanon, over the years the border has also seen criminal smuggling operations and attempts by migrants to illegally cross into Israel to find work due to the deteriorating economic conditions in Lebanon.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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