There was tension on both sides of the Israeli-Lebanese border Tuesday.
According to reports in Lebanese media, the Lebanese Army upped its state of alert after unusual Israeli tank movements were spotted.
Lebanese sources claimed that four Merkava tanks left their previous positions and moved towards a new IDF outpost located near the border. At the same time, six IAF fighter jets flew overhead in the skies of South Lebanon.
The tanks reportedly took up observation positions on the Lebanese border near the village of Shuba, opposite Arkoub. Lebanese sources said that the position encroaches on Lebanese territory and that a complaint against Israel has been filed with the United States and United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Hizbullah training Lebanon Army?
Kuwaiti newspaper Al Siyassa reported that 150 Lebanese army soldiers and officers have entered into an agreement with Hizbullah, which is training them to operate Iranian missiles aimed at Israel. Both Hizbullah and Lebanon denied the report.
The newspaper added that Israel is aware of the secret deal and has forwarded the information to officials in UNIFIL. The Hizbullah cell is said to be operating south of the Litani River, in violation of the U.N. ceasefire resolution that formally ended the Second Lebanon War.
Despite the report and recent Lebanese violations at the northern border, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told new army soldiers, “We do not anticipate a disruption of quiet in the area.” He acknowledged that Israel views “with gravity” the recent explosion of weapons and arms at a Hizbullah location in southern Lebanon.
Most reports described the explosions as having taken place at a Hizbullah building used for storing weapons, but Lebanese sources also stated that the blasts took place at a secret Hizbullah training base. Lebanon earlier this week claimed that the explosion involved weapons lefts behind by the IDF in the Second Lebanon War.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday: “I think that Hizbullah has good reasons not to heat up the border.”