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Lebanon: Military Sources Say Army Ready for All Possibilities

Lebanon: Military Sources Say Army Ready for All Possibilities

Tuesday, 18 December, 2018 - 13:30
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeepers watch as Israeli workers build a wall near the border with Israel, near the village of Naqoura, Lebanon March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Beirut - Youssef Diab, Asharq Al-Awsat

The Lebanese Army was on alert after the Israeli soldiers started rolling out barbed wire along the Blue Line separating Lebanon and Israel on Monday.

Civilians were asked to leave the area in anticipation of any military development.

Lebanese soldiers - objecting to the placement of some barbed wire - asked UNIFIL members on site to tell the invading soldiers to move it.

Lebanese military sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Israeli army carried out four violations of the Blue Line, which included changing the location of the barbed strip and advancing towards Lebanese territory. The sources described the moves as a “violation of the Lebanese sovereignty,” adding that the army would “deal with the situation based to its field requirements.”

“As long as the Israelis move inside in the occupied territories, it won’t be a problem for us; but we will not allow them to approach our lands,” the sources affirmed, stressing that the Lebanese army deployed along the southern border was in full readiness and prepared for all possibilities.”

“[Army] patrols are monitoring the situation closely,” they said, adding that the Lebanese army was in full coordination with the UNIFIL.

Meanwhile, the UNIFIL announced on Monday that two of Hezbollah’s tunnels crossed the Blue Line, in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701.

“UNIFIL has been actively following up on developments relating to the discovery of tunnels along the Blue Line” by the Israeli army, a statement by UNIFIL said.

UNIFIL technical teams have undertaken a number of site inspections south of the Blue Line in order to ascertain the facts.

It added that based on UNIFIL’s independent assessment, “UNIFIL has so far confirmed the existence of all the four tunnels close to the Blue Line in northern Israel.”

“After further technical investigations conducted independently in accordance with its mandate, UNIFIL at this stage can confirm that two of the tunnels cross the Blue Line. These constitute violations of UN Security Council resolution 1701,” the statement read.

While expressing “serious concern” over the new developments, UNIFIL said it “requested the Lebanese authorities to ensure urgent follow-up actions in accordance with the responsibilities of the Government of Lebanon pursuant to resolution 1701.”

“The situation in UNIFIL’s area of operation remains calm. UNIFIL’s leadership is fully engaged with the parties to ensure stability along the Blue Line and prevent misunderstandings in order to keep the area of operation calm,” the statement concluded.

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