The Lebanese army said it fired tear gas at Israeli forces in response to smoke grenade attacks launched by the Israelis in the southern Bastra region, Reuters reported.
“Parts of the Israeli enemy breached the withdrawal line and fired smoke grenades at a Lebanese army patrol that was accompanying a bulldozer removing an earth embankment erected by the Israeli enemy north of the withdrawal line, the blue line, in the Bastra area,” said a statement by the lebanese army.
The current demarcation line between the two countries is known as the Blue Line, a border drawn by the United Nations that marks the line to which Israeli forces retreated when they left southern Lebanon in 2000, BTA reports.
“The Lebanese patrol responded to the attack with tear gas grenades… and forced them to withdraw to the occupied mountainous territories,” the text added.
For its part, the Israeli military claims that the violence was initiated by Lebanon. “A short while ago soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) observed a shovel of an engineering vehicle crossing the Blue Line from Lebanon into Israeli territory in the area of Mount Dov,” the Israeli forces said in a statement. “In response, IDF soldiers used riot gear,” it added.
UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in the area, said there were tensions today.
“There was tension today. UNIFIL is in contact with the parties to reduce tension and prevent misunderstandings. We are currently on the ground, monitoring the situation and trying to restore calm to the area,” said UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti.