The Israel Defense Forces is fortifying positions along the border with Lebanon, according to a Lebanese news report.
It “cemented and fortified the military posts along the border with Lebanon facing the Adaisseh-Kfarkila road,” the Lebanese National News Agency reported Friday, according to a translation by Lebanese news site Naharnet. “A crane placed cement blocks and walls on the makeshift military road separating the electronic fence and the groves of the Metulla settlement.”
The NNA asserted that the IDF was erecting the fortifications in order to conceal troop movements. It also reported that Israel had stationed tanks and armored personnel carriers along Shebaa Farms and the Golan Heights overlooking the road leading from Syria and Lebanon.
The report came just days after Major-General Luciano Portolano, the new head of mission at the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, said the northern border “is generally calm,” according to a UNIFIL statement.
However, Portolano’s assessment appeared to run counter to that of a senior IDF officer who told Hebrew-language media that the situation could easily deteriorate. He added that in an upcoming conflict Hezbollah would try to capture Israeli territory — a warning that has raised alarm among northern residents.
In July and August, a dozen rockets were fired from southern Lebanon into Israel in what Lebanese officials said was an act of solidarity with Gazans. In a coordinated effort to stop the sporadic rocket attacks, the Lebanese army, together with UNIFIL peacekeepers, increased border patrols and arrested several terrorists in connection with the attacks.
Israel regularly monitors movements between Syria and Lebanon and in February reportedly carried out a strike on a weapons shipment from Syria said to be headed to Hezbollah’s arsenals in southern Lebanon.