In 2nd incident in a week, man crosses border from Israel into Lebanon
Unclear whether man is an Israeli citizen; military says it is looking into the case; Lebanese media says he climbed over the fence near Metulla
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
An unidentified person crossed the Israeli border into Lebanon on Sunday afternoon, the Israeli military said, after Lebanese media reported that a man who climbed over Israel’s security fence was arrested by local security services.
Kan news, citing Lebanese media, said the man climbed over Israel’s border fence near the northern town of Metulla.
The reports said the suspect, identified by his initials A.D., was being questioned by Lebanese authorities.
It was not clear whether the man was an Israeli citizen.
The Israel Defense Forces appeared to have only become aware of the crossing after Lebanese media reported it. The IDF said the incident was under review.
Last Monday, an Israeli civilian, reportedly an Arab Israeli in his 30s, crossed the border into Lebanon. The IDF said it was holding talks for his release with the Lebanese side via intermediaries, as the two countries technically remain at war.
In 2021, an Arab Israeli youth in his 20s from a Bedouin village in the Negev crossed into Lebanon. He was returned about a month later.
The border with Lebanon has been somewhat tense in recent weeks, with the Hezbollah terror group establishing new tall observation posts, as the IDF ramps up the construction of a defensive wall.
United Nation peacekeepers have also broken up several standoffs between Israeli and Lebanese forces along the border, after the latter complained that Israeli engineering work crossed over the demarcation line.
The peacekeeping force has been in Lebanon since 1978. Composed of nearly 10,000 soldiers, it is deployed in the south of the country — a stronghold of Hezbollah — to maintain a buffer between it and Israel.
The terror group has long been the IDF’s most significant adversary on Israel’s borders, with an estimated arsenal of nearly 150,000 rockets and missiles that can reach anywhere in Israel.