The Israel Defense Forces has begun constructing concrete walls along several sections of Israel’s northern border with Lebanon.
Residents of Kibbutz Misgav Am, near Kiryat Shmona, said they were surprised to see a 9-meter-high (30 foot) wall being built in the western part of the kibbutz, close to the border fence. However, they said it didn’t concern them. “At least the scenery is very nice on the other side,” commented one kibbutznik.
An IDF source told Haaretz that many engineering projects are currently underway in the area. “There is a continuing engineering effort to strengthen regional defense in Northern Command, including the erection of concrete barriers and other obstacles,” the source explained. The new wall follows the digging out of open slopes close to the border, which the army has been engaged in in order to minimize the risks of infiltration from Lebanon and to facilitate the identification of any movement in the area.
The wall will apparently not be constructed along the entire border fence abutting the kibbutz, but only in some sections of it.
The 10-year anniversary of the Second Lebanon War will be marked soon. And the tour operator at the kibbutz, Bezalel Lev-Tov, says that, barring one incident in 2010, the period has been “the quietest it’s ever been here.”
In that 2010 incident, a reserve battalion commander was killed near the kibbutz by a Lebanese army sniper, during an operation involving a military engineering unit that was cutting back tree branches on the Lebanese side of the fence.
Kibbutz spokesman Ofer Moskowitz said, “The fence is here, and always will be. We’re not concerned. Now they’re adding concrete, but it’s for our own protection. You won’t see anyone here who is stressed – neither kibbutz members nor children. What is on people’s minds now is Purim costumes and gift exchanges.”
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