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Friday, February 24, 2012

Israel building a wall along Blue Line with Lebanon

From The Daily Star (Lebanon):
Israel Thursday officially confirmed plans to construct a wall to replace the existing technical fence along the Blue Line separating Lebanon’s Kfar Kila village and the Israeli settlement of Metula.

“The IDF presented their plan to construct a wall to replace the existing Israeli technical fence. The wall will be on the line where the technical fence is at present,” UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Paolo Serra said following a tripartite meeting with the Lebanese and Israeli armies at the Ras al-Naqoura crossing.

Media reports emerged in early January that Israel was planning to replace the technical fence with a 5-meter-high, 1-kilometer-long security wall equipped with surveillance and alarm systems. The area has been a source of tension in the past.

Serra added that the Lebanese Army had been informed of the technical details of Israel’s plans, and that UNIFIL would now work to ensure sufficient security measures were in place during the construction process.

UNIFIL achieved full understanding both with the LAF as well as with the IDF on the scope and technical details of the works that are to be carried out,” he said. “UNIFIL’s primary endeavor will be now to enable necessary security during the works and to ensure that there is no violation of the Blue Line in the process.”

The Muslim News (UK) adds:
Residents of the southern Lebanese towns voiced different opinions about the construction of the wall.

A restaurant owner near Fatima Gate objected to its building, saying it will “detrimentally affect tourism since many people come to the restaurant to see the occupied lands and the Israeli soldiers up close.”

A woman, whose house is a narrow road away from where the wall will be erected, hailed the project as good for her and her neighbors.

She said the wall would protect her three children from the Israeli army who might “attack at any moment” and will keep away the road dust kicked up by speeding Israeli military vehicles.

The woman's 60-year-old neighbor agreed with her, saying “it will relieve us from looking at them and their provocative behavior.”
Who knew that IDF soldiers are a Lebanese tourist attraction?