The situation on the border between Lebanon and Israel remains tense, as the UN peacekeeping force tries to resolve a dispute over two tents set up by Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group backed by Iran. Israel claims that the tents are inside its territory, while Lebanon and Hezbollah deny this.
The tents are located in an area known as Chebaa Farms and Kfar Chouba hills, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed as part of the Golan Heights. Lebanon considers this area as part of its land.
According to Israeli media reports, Hezbollah removed one of the tents on Sunday, but this has not been confirmed by the group. The UN peacekeeping force, or UNIFIL, said its commander, Maj. Gen. Aroldo Lázaro, is in direct contact with both sides to resolve the issue.
UNIFIL said it is investigating the reports of the tent removal and urged both parties to avoid any unauthorized presence or activity near the border line, known as the blue line, which was drawn after Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000.
Hezbollah’s parliamentary leader Mohammed Raad said on Saturday that the tents are in Lebanese territory and warned Israel not to try to remove them. He said Hezbollah and Lebanon have “resistance and strong men” to defend their land.
The border dispute comes amid heightened tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, who fought a devastating war in 2006 that ended in a stalemate. Last week, Hezbollah said it shot down an Israeli drone over a village in southern Lebanon. Both sides have also accused each other of flying drones over their territories in the past.