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Israel and Lebanon forces engage in latest border confrontation

A battle tank belonging to the Israeli army is seen the Lebanon border on 2 June 2020 [JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images]
A battle tank belonging to the Israeli army is seen at the Lebanon border on 2 June 2020 [JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images]

The Lebanese Army and Israeli occupation forces squared off yesterday along the border between the two countries. According to reports, two Israeli Merkava tanks were deployed to the border but remained on the "Israeli side" of the so-called Blue Line, representing the first time Israeli tanks crossed the fence since the 2006 war with Lebanon's Hezbollah movement. In April a similar incident occurred along the Blue Line.

The Israeli deployment has been claimed to be in response to attempts being made to enter Israeli territory from Lebanon. There were also reports in April that holes had been made in Israeli fences near the border.

A reporter from Al-Manar stated that the Israeli forces were accompanied by a number of journalists and cameramen to cover the incident, which occurred without gunfire exchanged.

READ: Lebanon arrests 5 Sudanese trying to cross into Israel

Israeli news sources mentioned that the tanks were met with Lebanese soldiers, some armed with Rocket-Propelled Grenades (RPG). As with last month's confrontation, UN peacekeepers from the Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) also arrived at the scene to prevent escalations.

Earlier, Israel handed over to Lebanon a shepherd who was shot by their forces as he was herding his goats in the Lebanese-claimed, occupied Shebaa Farms and allegedly crossed the Blue Line.

READ: Austria lawmakers call for action against Lebanese Hezbollah

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