Authorities Baffled by Mystery Man Who Jumped Fence From Israel Into Lebanese Territory

Lebanese and Israeli authorities are still no closer to figuring out the identity of a man who snuck into Lebanon from Israel Tuesday.

The man, most probably an Israeli citizen, was detained by the Lebanese military after apparently jumping the border fence between the two countries at 6 A.M. Tuesday.

Lebanese news agencies reported Tuesday that the man crossed the border near the southern Lebanon town of Bint Jbail. According to the reports, the man was taken in for questioning by Lebanese intelligence officials, but did not cooperate with them.

Reportedly, the man was not carrying any identification is refusing to reveal his identity to Lebanese officials.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon is being updated on the situation.

Israel Defense Forces troops spotted the man touching the border fence on Tuesday morning, but he was no longer visible when an IDF patrol arrived at the location where he was seen.

Following a sweep of the area, the IDF ruled out the possibility that somebody had infiltrated Israeli territory, and a short while later it became clear that the man had in fact crossed from Israel into Lebanon.

It appears that the man crossed the border by jumping over the fence.

In a similar incident recently, the member of a family associated with the now-defunct South Lebanon Army crossed from Israel into Lebanon in order to be reunited with relatives who had remained in Lebanon.

However, former SLA soldiers now living in northern Israel said that the man who crossed the border two days ago was not a member of their community.

The police have not received any reports of a missing person in northern Israel in the last few days and have no plans to begin searching for a missing person.

The United Nations Security Council also renewed the mandate of its peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon for another year yesterday and called on parties in conflict in the region to abide by the ceasefire.

UNIFIL, with more than 12,000 military and civilian personnel, will remain in southern Lebanon until August 31, 2010, to continue monitoring the ceasefire between Hezbollah and Israel that began following the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.