ANALYSIS An End to Calm on Israel-Lebanon Border?

The past four years have been considered the quietest ever on the northern border, with only four Katyusha launches at Israel, all by small, radical Palestinian groups.

Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer

Since the Second Lebanon War four years ago, Israel has frequently operated in the enclave situated on the other side of the security fence with Lebanon but still within the "blue line" of Israeli territory. In some places the "blue line" is very close to the fence, while in others the enclave is as much as 800 meters wide.

Exchange of fire on the border between Israel and Lebanon - August 3, 2010Credit: Yaron Kaminsky

Until the last war, Israel did not enter the enclave, where Hezbollah acted freely. It was in this area that IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were kidnapped in the attack that set off the Second Lebanon War.

However, over the past few months IDF forces stationed along the northern border have reported a deterioration in relations with the Lebanese Army, including the aiming of weapons at IDF soldiers operating in the enclave. Harsher rhetoric against the IDF by Lebanese commanders has also been reported.

The Lebanese Army deployed three brigades in southern Lebanon after the Second Lebanon War and is soon to deploy a fourth brigade.

The army's battalions were once built along ethnic lines, with the soldiers in the various units dividing their loyalty between the army's high command and their ethnic leaders.

In the past the Lebanese Army was considered an adversary of Hezbollah in terms of the right to bear arms; however, recently army commanders at all levels have moved closer to the Hezbollah leadership.

The Lebanese Army had also been considered relatively friendly to Israel until recently, when incidents increased of Lebanese troops aiming weapons at IDF soldiers operating in the enclave.

Yesterday's incident is the most serious since the end of the Second Lebanon War, and the first in which IDF soldiers have been injured.

The past four years have been considered the quietest ever on the northern border, with only four Katyusha launches at Israel, all by small, radical Palestinian groups. Only one Israeli was injured very slightly by glass fragments.

Until yesterday, the Lebanese Army opened fire on Israel only once, in early 2007, at soldiers operating in the enclave in the area of Moshav Avivim. The soldiers were not injured and an Israeli tank returned fire, injuring five Lebanese soldiers.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism