Israel Frees Detained Lebanese Shepherd Into UNIFIL Hands

Lebanese sources accuse IDF of kidnapping 17-year-old and abusing him; Lebanon MP appeals to army.

Israeli security forces on Monday released a Lebanese shepherd it arrested a day earlier in a village straddling the northern border, Lebanese army sources said.

Rabih Zahra, 17, was detained after forces found a commando knife in his possession. He has now been transferred into the hands of United Nations peacekeeping troops.

Lebanese sources accused Israeli forces of abducting the teenagers and said on Monday that Zahra was tortured while in Israel Defense Forces' custody.

Israeli officials late Sunday confirmed the arrest, which it said was carried out in the Shaba Farms - a disputed town which both Israel and Lebanon claim as their territory.

Israel said it did not believe the shepherd was planning any sort of attack, despite being in possession of a weapon.

Shiite Lebanese MP Qassem Hashem, who is close to Hezbollah, said the Israeli action was a new violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which ended the 33-day war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.

Hashem called on Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali Shami and the Lebanese army to deal with the incident which he described as a breach of Lebanese sovereignty.