Lebanon army chief calls for high alert on border

Lebanese army chief call

Lebanese Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwaji instructed his men to raise the level of alert along the border with Israel, in preparation for an attack planned by "the Israeli enemy," the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported on Saturday. In a statement published ahead of Lebanon's independence day, which falls on Sunday, the general called for "greater vigilance" on the border, "to counter the planned attacks by the Israeli enemy against the homeland." All the available options must be used to address Israel's violations of the country's sovereignty by "land, sea and air," Kahwaji said. He asked the army to stand by the Lebanese people "to support their steadfastness on their land" and stressed Lebanon's right to the "liberation of its land still under occupation in the Shaba Farms [Mount Dov], and the villages of Shuba and Ghajar." Kahwaji also urged his troops to "cooperate with the international forces in implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701." In a possible allusion to those who cooperate with Israel, he urged the military to make the utmost effort possible to reassure the citizens about their lives and livelihoods "and continue in pursuit of terrorists, criminals and all those who undermine the country's security." "Know that immediate independence can be achieved only by protecting the land and the people, through upholding the banner of state sovereignty over every inch of our national territory," Kahwaji reportedly concluded. Last week, a military court in Lebanon sentenced a Lebanese soldier and his wife to death, after the couple were found guilty of spying for Israel, Israel Radio reported. The court also sentenced the defendant's sister and her husband, who are reportedly living in Israel, to death. According to the report, the four were found guilty of contacting Israeli agents in order to assist in case of an Israeli attack on Lebanon.