Lebanon accuses IDF of crossing into its territory

13 Israeli soldiers said to violate Blue Line for 35 minutes; army dismisses report

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An IDF patrol entered 20 meters into Lebanese territory on Wednesday at 8:55 a.m., withdrawing from the area at 9:30 a.m., Lebanon’s National News Agency reported.

The 13 IDF soldiers crossed the Blue Line near the village of Aita Ech Chaab in the southern region of Lebanon. The troops returned back into Israeli territory shortly after, avoiding confrontation with Lebanese border guards.

The army’s spokesman’s office dismissed the report.

The Lebanese army was investigating the incident in conjunction with UNIFIL.

The news agency also reported a series of Israeli drills along the border Wednesday, including drone tests over Har Dov.

The IDF may be heightening its preparedness on the northern front in light of a series of attacks in past weeks along the borders with Lebanon and Syria.

Four Israeli soldiers were wounded on March 18 when their patrol jeep apparently ran over a bomb near the Israel-Syria border. The army initially said three soldiers were lightly to moderately injured but later announced that a fourth soldier was gravely wounded.

The incident occurred near Majdal Shams, and the soldiers were evacuated to Rambam Hospital in Haifa. They were apparently hit after they spotted a suspicious person near the fence and approached to investigate.

An IDF vehicle near the border with Lebanon at Rosh Hanikra, May 2013 (photo credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)
An IDF vehicle near the border with Lebanon at Rosh Hanikra, May 2013 (photo credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that attack came amid a recent influx of “jihadists and Hezbollah members” near Syria’s border with Israel, which he said “poses a new challenge.”

The incident followed an attack on March 14, which took place in the Har Dov area in the north, when militants penetrated hundreds of meters into Israel and planted two small IED bombs in front of an army jeep.

The blast damaged the jeep and caused light injuries to its occupants. Three soldiers were taken to a hospital to rule out any internal injuries from the blast.

In retaliation, the IDF fired on several targets across the Lebanese border, including tank fire at a Hezbollah position in the village Kfar Kileh.

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