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IDF stops infiltrator swimming in from Lebanon

Unarmed suspect spotted by lookouts, intercepted by navy and taken in for questioning

Israeli navy boats are seen from Rosh Hanikra, on the Israeli and Lebanese border in northern Israel, May 4, 2021. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)
Israeli navy boats are seen from Rosh Hanikra, on the Israeli and Lebanese border in northern Israel, May 4, 2021. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

The army intercepted an infiltrator who tried to swim from Lebanon into Israel via the sea overnight, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement on Monday.

IDF lookouts spotted the suspect, and naval vessels were dispatched.

Troops arrested the suspect close to the point where he crossed the water border, the IDF said in a Monday statement. Israel and Lebanon have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war, with a disputed maritime border.

The suspect was found to be unarmed and was taken away for questioning.

It marked the fourth time in recent days that infiltrators have tested Israel’s borders.

On Thursday morning, soldiers arrested two suspects who crossed into northern Israel from Lebanon, following an hours-long manhunt, amid rising tensions along the restive northern frontier.

The two men appeared to be migrants from Lebanon, who entered Israel with the hope of finding work. They were questioned by Israeli security forces, the military said.

Lebanon is in the midst of a devastating economic and political crisis that has seen its currency bottom out and sent masses into the streets to protest.

The border with Jordan has also seen two attempts. On Saturday Jordan’s army shot dead a man who was among three people attempting to cross the border into Israel. It was not clear what happened to the other two.

The Israeli military said at the time it was looking into the matter and that the entire incident took place on Jordanian soil.

The incident came just hours after Israel Defense Forces troops arrested five Jordanians who crossed the border earlier in the day. After identifying the group’s crossing, the army launched a manhunt in the morning. One suspect was quickly arrested and the other four were caught near the Dead Sea in the early afternoon.

All five were unarmed. The military said it believed they were illegal immigrants and did not represent a danger.

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