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Lebanon: Israeli wall 'assault on Lebanese land'

08 February 2018

The Lebanese-Israeli border has been calm since the month-long war of 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah, which killed around 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, majority troops. Arguments over the wall and Lebanon's plans to explore for offshore oil and gas in disputed waters have elevated tensions between them.

Israel's planned border wall with Lebanon was denounced as an "act of aggression" by Lebanon's top council of political, military and security heads Wednesday.

The meeting discussed response to the claims by Israel's defense minister about the ownership of Block 9 within the territorial waters that are under Lebanese judicial sovereignty, it said. Israel has said it only cuts through the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

They agreed to take measures "at various regional and global levels to prevent Israel from building the cement wall ... and from the possibility of infringing on Lebanon's oil and gas wealth and its [territorial] waters", it said.

The border has been relatively peaceful since 2006, when Israel moved into Lebanon in an attempt to root out Hezbollah.

The devastating 2006 war cost the lives of 1,200 people in Lebanon, mainly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

The senior officer noted that the occupation military has been investing heavily in the navy, upgrading systems and better integrating it into the rest of the Israeli forces in a bid to counter those threats, as the country's gas fields and shipping lanes grow more and more important. According to Mako News, the exchange between the two sides began when Hezbollah turned to UNIFIL, the United Nations military force stationed in southern Lebanon, and said it would not accept the work taking place on the other side of the fence.UNIFIL feared an escalation and forwarded the message to the British and USA ambassadors to relay it to the Prime Minister's Office.

According to Aoun, the planned wall would cross Lebanese borders at 13 different points.

Last week, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called Lebanon's first offshore oil and gas exploration tender "very provocative" and urged worldwide firms not to participate.

"We must not take one step forward and one step backward".

Lebanon: Israeli wall 'assault on Lebanese land'