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| 20 April, 2017

Israel demolishes fortifications near border

Image used for illustrative purpose. Smoke rises behind a firefighting bulldozer as a wildfire driven by fierce Santa Ana winds blows in Rancho Cucamonga, California, April 30, 2014.  A wind-driven brush fire burning out of control in drought-parched Southern California wildland on Wednesday forced the evacuation of about 1,000 residents north of the town of Rancho Cucamonga, officials said. REUTERS/David McNew

Image used for illustrative purpose. Smoke rises behind a firefighting bulldozer as a wildfire driven by fierce Santa Ana winds blows in Rancho Cucamonga, California, April 30, 2014. A wind-driven brush fire burning out of control in drought-parched Southern California wildland on Wednesday forced the evacuation of about 1,000 residents north of the town of Rancho Cucamonga, officials said. REUTERS/David McNew

Reuters/David McNew

20 April 2017

BEIRUT: Israeli bulldozers Wednesday destroyed sandbags near Lebanon’s southern border, the state-run National News Agency reported. The works took place during heightened security tensions on the hill overlooking the Wazzani River.

The area falls under the oversight of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. The UNIFIL numbers were boosted following the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.

Lebanon’s southern front has been quiet ever since, save for occasional limited exchanges.

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However, over the past several months, rhetoric between the two sides has heated up. In a meeting with Army commander Gen. Joseph Aoun, Lebanese Defense Minister Yaacoub Sarraf noted Tuesday that Israel and terrorism were Lebanon’s two primary threats.

“The Lebanese Army proved to be strong and capable of preserving security and stability, despite the fight raging in the region,” Sarraf said.

In February, Israeli troops fired tear gas at Lebanese protesters demonstrating the installation of spying equipment on their agricultural land. A couple of days later, the Lebanese Army set up concrete roadblocks to prevent future incidents, only to have them torn down by Israeli forces.

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