Lebanese man grabs rifle magazine from soldier during border tussle, IDF says
None hurt during latest confrontation along the frontier; army says it is probing incident
Israeli troops scuffled with a group of Lebanese men while carrying out engineering work on the tense border between the countries, the Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday.
The incident was the latest confrontation along the de facto frontier, where disputes over the demarcation of national boundaries along a UN-patrolled ceasefire line have led to face-to-face altercations, sometimes with deadly results.
During the incident Tuesday, dozens of people gathered near troops working along the border. One Lebanese man stole a magazine from a soldier’s gun, the Israeli army said.
No one was reported to have been hurt during the clash.
The incident was under investigation.
Video published on social media appeared to show members of the United Nations peacekeeping force separating Israeli soldiers from the Lebanese following the incident.
بالفيديو: بعد قيام أحد المدنيين اللبنانيين بنزع "مخزن رصاص" من بندقية جندي صهيوني أثناء اقترابه من الخط الأزرق على الحدود مع بلدة حولا، قوة من اليونيفيل تقف أمام الجنود الصهاينة عند استنفارهم… ????????
نقلاً عن الاعلامي علي شعيب pic.twitter.com/3Fad7yjfUp
— Mhd Zahreddine (@mhd_zahreddine) March 7, 2023
The incident follows another on Sunday when Israeli and Lebanese soldiers reportedly had a standoff amid accusations that members of the IDF breached the Blue Line separating the countries.
A spokesman for UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping outfit deployed along the buffer zone, told the Lebanese news outlet L’Orient at the time that it was “aware of tensions along the Blue Line in the area of Aita al-Shaab, where some Israeli maintenance works are ongoing” and that its peacekeepers were working to de-escalate the situation.
Ali Shoeib, a reporter for the Hezbollah-backed Lebanese news outlet Al-Manar, tweeted video appearing to show Israeli and Lebanese soldiers arguing during the Sunday incident.
لحظة احتدام التدافع بين الجيش اللبناني وبعض ألأهالي وجنود العدو قرب الخط الأزرق عند حدود بلدة #عيتا_الشعب .
أجواء الإستنفار خفت بعد تراجع العدو . pic.twitter.com/IwIC5OA2Dd
— علي شعيب || Ali Shoeib ???????? (@alishoeib1970) March 5, 2023
During a speech on Monday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah praised Lebanese who, he said, have faced off against Israeli troops along the Blue Line.
The terror chief said it was the threat of Hezbollah’s military might backing up the Lebanese army that enables the latter to stand up to the IDF on the border, and claimed that in recent weeks Israel has been trying to move the border by seizing meters of the Lebanese territory, but has been repelled.