WAZZANI, Lebanon: The long-awaited cleanup at the Hasbani stream near Wazzani in south Lebanon began Thursday after Israel gave Lebanon the go-ahead.
A bulldozer belonging to U.N. peacekeepers began removing rocks that were blocking part of the channel after they were washed downstream by winter rains.
Israel has rejected Lebanon’s requests to clean up the river, a longstanding demand by the owners of parks, restaurants and resorts that are scattered along Hasbani’s western bank who seek to make use of the eastern side.
The cleanup, which was supervised by UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army, is expected to last three days.
The operation was hailed as a victory for Lebanon.
“The insistence of Parliament Speaker [Nabih Berri] and the Lebanese Army succeeded in the cleanup,” said Qassem Hashem, an MP from Berri's bloc, who oversaw the operation.