A general view of the village of Shebaa on Sunday, November 9, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Despite the ongoing battles between Syrian rebels and the regime just over the mountain, residents are keen to stress that things in the town of Shebaa are fine.The Lebanese Army barred 11 wounded Syrian rebels from entering Lebanese territory through the southern Mount Hermon border region Friday, demanding first the release of 27 servicemen held hostage by the Nusra Front and ISIS militants in Arsal.The rebels were stopped 700 meters from the Army checkpoint on the Rashaya crossing between the Syrian town of Beit Jin and Lebanon's Arqoub in the Shebaa region.Those who spoke to The Daily Star were unanimous in their support for the Army and its decision to prevent the rebels from entering the town.Lebanese charities based in the town can no longer provide relief to Syrians west of Rif Damascus like they once did.Shebaa's Mayor Mohammad Saab said the security situation in Shebaa was excellent.The mayor expressed hope that the government would provide the Arqoub area, which includes Shebaa, Kfar Shuba, Kfar Hammam, Hebbarieh and Hasbaya with aid, since the municipalities in these zones were in dire need of more funding.Saab said fears harbored by Shebaa's residents that Syrian refugees in the town would one day stage terrorist attacks were baseless.
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