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Israel warns of ‘violent escalation’ on Lebanon border

August 29, 2023 at 2:10 pm

The United Nations Interim Peace Forces (UNIFIL) patrol the Kafr Shuba region, considered a disputed area between Lebanon and Israel, to ensure security in the town of Kafr Shuba in Nabatieh Governorate, Lebanon on August 28, 2023 [Houssam Shbaro – Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s Defence Minister, on Tuesday, urged the United Nations to intervene to stop tension along the border with Lebanon, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a letter sent to UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, Yoav Gallant said “the potential for a violent escalation on Israel’s northern border is growing” due to what he described as Hezbollah’s “flagrant violations”, Israeli channel i24NEWS reported.

He also accused the Lebanese group of causing tension through its provocations, including putting up a tent in what he called “Israeli territory”.

Gallant urged immediate UN intervention to de-escalate the growing tension “by strengthening UNIFIL authority in the region,” referring to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and its implementation of its mandate.

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Israel “will not tolerate increasing threats to the security of its citizens, and will act as required in their defence,” he warned.

There was no comment from Lebanese authorities or Hezbollah on the letter.

The Israeli-Lebanese border has witnessed tension in recent months amid mutual accusations of violating and crossing the borderline.

In June, Hezbollah set up tents in Shebaa Farms and the Kfar Shouba hills close to the border. Lebanon insists that the Shebaa Farms area, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, is Lebanese territory.

In 2006, Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in which more than 1,200 Lebanese – mostly civilians – were killed. Some 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers, were killed in the same conflict

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