The IDF clashed with Lebanese citizens near Mount Dov and Kfar Shouba along the border between Israel and Lebanon on Friday, after the citizens crossed a barbed wire barrier placed by Israeli forces.
"قوات الاحتلال تطلق قنابل دخانية باتجاه أهالي #كفرشوبا الذين تجاوزوا الشريط الشائك الذي زرعه الاحتلال".مراسل #الميادين عباس الصباغ #لبنان @abbas_sabbagh pic.twitter.com/Od4RDBviNm— قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) June 9, 2023
The Lebanese citizens threw rocks at Israeli forces, with the soldiers launching tear gas in response. According to the Lebanese state National News Agency, one Lebanese citizen was injured by a tear gas canister launched by Israeli forces. The Lebanese Army stated that it was deploying in the area and "facing the Israeli enemy."
The IDF stated that Lebanese rioters attempted to destroy a barrier set up by Israeli forces on Mount Dov and that the IDF responded with riot dispersal methods, stressing that "the IDF will not allow any attempt to violate the sovereignty of the State of Israel."
"جنود الجيش اللبناني يأخذون وضعيات قتالية في نقطة #كفرشوبا الحدودية في مواجهة جنود الاحتلال".مراسل #الميادين عباس الصباغ#لبنان @abbas_sabbagh pic.twitter.com/TAh2Wk5yQl— قناة الميادين (@AlMayadeenNews) June 9, 2023
Lebanese soldiers and UNIFIL personnel were seen in video published by the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV from the scene. Lebanese soldiers were seen pointing an RPG at an Israeli tank in the area in live footage from Al-Mayadeen.
UNIFIL told Arabic-language media that it was working to restore calm and called on Israel and Lebanon "to use coordination mechanisms to prevent misunderstandings and maintain stability in the region" and to "avoid actions that lead to tensions along the Blue Line."
Ali Fayyad, an MP from the Hezbollah party, warned that "The resistance is closely following the issue in the Kfar Shuba hills, moment by moment, and is preparing for any escalation possibilities, and will not allow the Israeli enemy to persist in its transgressions," according to Al-Ahed news.
On Thursday, Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar reporter Ali Shoeib had reported that local residents were planning to hold a rally along the border near Mount Dov on Friday morning. Shoeib had filmed himself trying to disrupt Israeli forces who were placing border markers in the area in recent days and had published threats against the forces if any Lebanese citizens were injured.
الجيش ينفذ انتشارًا في المنطقة الحدودية في كفرشوبا بمواجهة العدو الإسرائيلي.#الجيش_اللبناني #LebaneseArmy pic.twitter.com/UTqCl6cyTR— الجيش اللبناني (@LebarmyOfficial) June 9, 2023
The area, commonly called the Sheeba Farms, was captured by Israel from Syria in 1967 and is a contested area along the border that is claimed by Israel, Lebanon and Syria.
عندم لم يعد لرفع الصوت معنىًأراد أن يتحدث بجسده آلة الحرب الصهيونية!!البطل الجنوبي المزارع إسماعيل ناصر من بلدة #كفرشوبا#ضجوا_بصورهمعادلة الردع#الخط_الأزرق pic.twitter.com/ermhBp6xHp— علي شعيب || Ali Shoeib (@alishoeib1970) June 7, 2023
On Wednesday, Lebanese citizens disrupted IDF engineering work in the area, with video from the scene showing one citizen standing in front of a military bulldozer, throwing stones at the vehicle and getting partially covered in dirt.
Former Lebanese Army official claims Israel 'escalating'
Former Lebanese Army Brig.-Gen. Amine Hoteit claimed in an interview with Al-Mayadeen on Friday that Israel "wants to return to Trump's map, in which it recognized the Golan Heights as part of it and annexed the Shebaa Farms."
"What the region is exposed to raises a large question mark in the field, and what is happening is an Israeli escalation that may be matched by an appropriate Lebanese response," warned Hoteit.
This is a developing story.