IDF denies Lebanon claim fence crosses Blue Line (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 05/05/12)
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The IDF on Saturday rejected Lebanese claims that a security fence
Israel is putting up on the border between the two countries near the
Israeli town of Metulla violates Lebanon´s sovereign territory.
The IDF statement came after Lebanon filed a complaint with the
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on Friday, claiming
that Israel was crossing over the Blue Line into Lebanese territory
during excavations laying the groundwork for the fence.
The IDF stated that the work on the fence was being coordinated with
the UN forces stationed in southern Lebanon.
The barrier is being built "in order to improve the security
situation in the region and to reduce tension," the IDF Spokesman´s
Office stated on Monday.
Metulla is one of the northernmost points in Israel, sitting just six
kilometers from the Lebanese border. Its population, numbering
approximately 1,500, is mostly Jewish.
Upon completion, the wall was expected be more than a kilometer long
and a few meters high. The purpose of the wall is to prevent gun fire
on the city of Metulla from Lebanese villages.
The building of the wall is expected to last weeks.
Periodic IDF work along the border with Lebanon often raises tensions
with Beirut. A reserve battalion commander was killed in 2010 and
another soldier was seriously wounded when a Lebanese sniper shot at
an IDF force conducting routine maintenance work along the border.
During the Second Lebanon War, Metulla suffered from rocket and gun
fire from Lebanon, resulting in the injury and deaths of residents.
(© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/05/12)
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