Lebanese rioters clash with IDF along border fence
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Lebanese rioters clash with IDF along border fence

Military says 15 people violently protested near old border crossing, prompting soldiers to fire tear gas and stun grenades

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

A view of the border with Israel, from the southern Lebanese village of Kafr Kila, with Israeli vehicles driving on the right side and UN and Lebanese vehicles driving on the left, on December 4, 2018. (Ali Dia/AFP)
A view of the border with Israel, from the southern Lebanese village of Kafr Kila, with Israeli vehicles driving on the right side and UN and Lebanese vehicles driving on the left, on December 4, 2018. (Ali Dia/AFP)

The Israeli military clashed with some 15 Lebanese nationals along the northern border on Monday, firing tear gas and stun grenades at them, after two men scaled the border fence and attempted to damage it, the army said.

According to Lebanese media, a riot broke out after Israel installed security cameras along the Blue Line, the internationally recognized dividing line between Israel and Lebanon, near the town of Kafr Kila.

The IDF said approximately 15 people participated in the riot, which was held near Fatima Gate, once known as the Good Fence Crossing, was used from 1982 to 2000, during Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon.

According to the IDF, during the riot “two suspects climbed the security fence and tried to damage it.”

The military said the demonstration dispersed shortly after the soldiers fired the riot-control munitions at them.

There were no Lebanese injuries reported.

Over the years, the area around Kafr Kila has seen a number of protests and clashes between Lebanese citizens and the Israeli military.

Israel and Lebanon do not have a formal border due to territorial disputes; however, they largely abide by the UN-recognized Blue Line between the two countries.

Israel has fought two wars in Lebanon, one in 1982 against Palestinian terrorist groups, and another in 2006 against the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist militia, as well as a number of smaller operations.

Though seen as volatile, the border has not seen significant fighting since the end of the 2006 war.

Last December, the Israeli military launched an effort known as Operation Northern Shield, finding and destroying at least six underground tunnels dug by Hezbollah from southern Lebanon into Israel — including from the area of Kafr Kila — before declaring the mission a success.

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