A journalist reporting for the Hezbollah-linked Al Manar news network in Lebanon filed a report on Tuesday showing him standing within touching distance of an IDF tank, on Israel’s border with Lebanon.
In the background, viewers can see UNIFIL forces, with flags waving, and looking undisturbed by the scene. What journalist Ali Shuaib chose not to report, however, was the fact that the tank was there along with Israeli military carrying out engineering and construction work as part of the “Fortified Galilee” project to build a new security barrier along the Blue Line route.
תיעוד הזוי מגבול לבנון: כתב אל מנאר של חיזבאללה עלי שועייב במרחק נגיעה מטנק צה"לי סמוך להר דב. כוחות יוניפי"ל מנופפים בדגל ונראה שלא ממש עושים משהו. הרקע: עבודות חישוף של צה"ל באזור בימים האחרונים לבניית מכשול חדש על תוואי הקו הכחול pic.twitter.com/Ji9slHct5A
— איתי בלומנטל Itay Blumental (@ItayBlumental) September 26, 2023
The Blue Line a demarcation line between Lebanon and Israel and Lebanon and the Golan Heights published by the United Nations on June 7, 2000. The line is described as “temporary” and “not a border, but a line of withdrawal.”
“We are working here to expose the ground in this sector, first of all to reinforce our sovereignty up to the last meter, to the Blue Line. We are doing it to show we are not giving up even a single milimeter of the land that exists up to the security barrier,” IDF Captain Lidor Mai told Israel’s KAN 11 News public broadcaster.
The work is being carried out solely with reinforced equipment, because an IDF soldier was seriously wounded in by an old land mine in the same area about six months ago.
Just a few meters away, Hezbollah operatives are standing on piles of rocks, photographing every move the Israeli forces make.
Earlier this year, Hezbollah established two outposts under the guise of “Green without Borders,” a front for the Iranian proxy, within Israeli territory on Mount Dov (Shebaa Farms). One of the tents was subsequently dismantled but the second remains.
It is fair to say that at present, Israel’s northern border with Lebanon is a tinderbox, and a single spark could easily be fanned into roaring flames of war.
Asked by KAN 11 how close the situation is, in fact, to an escalation on Israel’s northern border, Captain Mai responds: “The best answer to this question is, we are ready.”