update desk

Israeli who crossed Lebanese border returned to Israel

The unnamed citizen was transferred for questioning by the security forces.

A Lebanese soldier and a Hezbollah gunman gaze into Israel from a watchtower on the border near Rosh Hanikra, Sept. 5, 2018. Photo by Basel Awidat/Flash90.
A Lebanese soldier and a Hezbollah gunman gaze into Israel from a watchtower on the border near Rosh Hanikra, Sept. 5, 2018. Photo by Basel Awidat/Flash90.

An Israeli citizen who crossed into Lebanon on Jan. 30 was returned to Israel on Monday through the Rosh Hanikra crossing, in coordination with UNIFIL (the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) and the Red Cross, the IDF announced.

The unnamed citizen was transferred for questioning by the security forces.

The Israel Defense Forces first reported on the crossing the day of the incident, and that dialogue was being conducted through intermediaries given that the two countries remain technically at war.

A second man crossed into Lebanon on Feb. 6, the IDF said.

Foreign media reported that the man, identified by Lebanese television channel Al-Jadeed as Farid Nizar Taher, 30, was arrested by Lebanese intelligence shortly after crossing the border.

Tensions remain high along Israel’s northern border, where the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization has built more than 20 observation and guard posts over the past year.

According to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War between the IDF and Hezbollah, the terrorist group is forbidden from operating near the frontier.

Hezbollah launched its border post project in parallel to Israel’s construction of a fortified fence along the 140-kilometer shared frontier.

Despite having no formal relations, Israel and Lebanon in October signed a U.S.-mediated maritime border deal. The agreement was sharply criticized by then-opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it a “historic surrender” that would send money to Hezbollah and give Iran access to the offshore Qana gas field.

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