High tension on the northern border again has led the Lebanese army to go on full alert, this time because the IDF mounted surveillance cameras near a border gate. United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) rushed to the scene Tuesday to ensure calm.
The Lebanese army prepared for battle following the mounting of cameras near the “Fatime” gate, a former crossing point that was closed in 2000, when Defense Minister Ehud Barak, then IDF Chief of Staff, ordered the hasty withdrawal of soldiers who had been manning a security zone in southern Lebanon for more than 20 years.
Lebanese sources told the Beirut Daily Star that the IDF has been reinforcing the area since last month, building barricades and installing a control tower. Demonstrations, including rock throwing, have been frequent at the gate.
With their fingers on the trigger, Lebanese soldiers often have shot at the IDF for activity that has turned out to be routine maintenance.
One soldier shot and killed an Israeli officer last year as he was carrying out routine work after equipment on his vehicle appeared to have crossed the border by a few inches. Three Lebanese soldiers and a journalist were killed by the IDF in the ensuing gun battle.