Lebanon Slams Israel for Arrest of Lebanese Citizen

IDF says Lebanese civilian crossed border into Israel; detained man is expected to be released back to Lebanon on Thursday.

Lebanon lashed out Wednesday at Israel after one of its border patrols arrested a Lebanese civilian in the border area between the two countries.

"This is a flagrant assault on residents of southern Lebanon," the Lebanese army said in a statement. "Enemy troops crossed the technical fence south of the village of Rmeish and kidnapped a Lebanese man, whom they took into the occupied territories (Israel)."

Israeli military officials, however, said the civilian had crossed the border, and was picked up near the Israeli security fence, which lies several hundred metres south of the UN-recognized "blue line."

The Lebanese army identified the detainee as Charbel Khouri.

A Lebanese security source said Khouri is expected to be released on Thursday morning following contacts between the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Israel.

The Lebanese army said it was in contact with UNIFIL, which is tasked with monitoring the Lebanon-Israel border, in order to "free the citizen."

Lebanon has previously filed complaints with the United Nations over similar incidents, accusing Israel of violating the Security Council resolution that ended a 33-day war between Israel and the Lebanese Shi'ite movement Hezbollah in 2006.

Yaron Kaminsky