BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Israel crosses Blue Line, Army and UNIFIL go on high alert

Israeli bulldozers that crossed the border and began construction on roads, with a Merkava tank in the background.

WAZZANI, Lebanon: Three Israeli bulldozers supported by armored vehicles and tanks crossed the border with Lebanon Monday and began construction on roads, which prompted the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon and the Army to go on a state of high alert.

The Israelis began building the road at the southern gate of the village of Ghajar and along the eastern bank of the Wazzani River. While the roads and defenses of roads were being constructed, Merkava tanks, Israeli soldiers and reconnaissance planes monitored the Lebanese side of the border.

A senior UNIFIL officer told The Daily Star that Israel had notified the peacekeepers of the construction in advance. “Security considerations were the primary explanation given by the Israeli side,” said the officer, who wished to not to be identified.

The head of the Spanish UNIFIL contingent, Fernando Gracia, was accompanied by high-ranking officers to monitor the borders and ensure that the Israeli force was not breaching the Blue Line.

The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Israel and Lebanon which is monitored by UNIFIL.

An Army statement confirmed the Israeli activities along the Blue Line and added that Army units took defensive positions along the border to confront any possible incursion.

Separately, a recent analysis in the Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, said that a new strategy has been developed by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah to confront Israel in future wars. The article is entitled “Hezbollah Strategy: Rockets on Tel Aviv, Raids on Galilee” and was written by an Israeli military analyst.

“At the onset of the next war Hezbollah will fire its most accurate missiles and rockets – including M-600 missiles Hezbollah received from Syria, which are fitted with GPS-aided inertial navigation – on the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, infrastructure installations and military targets,” the article said.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 05, 2013, on page 4.

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