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Lebanon blasts Israel border wall as 'violation of sovereignty' Open in fullscreen

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Lebanon blasts Israel border wall as 'violation of sovereignty'

Tensions along the border have been escalating in recent weeks [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 February, 2018

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Lebanese and Israeli military met to address Israel's border wall and Lebanon's maritime energy exploration, two contentious issues at the root of escalating tensions between the two countries.
Lebanon declared that the wall Israel is building along their shared border will be a violation of Lebanese sovereign territory, during UN-chaired talks between the Lebanese and Israeli military on Monday.

Tensions have been escalating between the neighbouring countries over recent weeks, partly due to the construction of the wall which Israel claims is to protect itself from attacks by Hizballah, who reportedly threated to shoot IDF soldiers building the barrier.

The Israeli army however claims the construction work is being carried out on sovereign Israeli territory.

According to Reuters, the two sides met face-to-face under the supervision of UN peacekeepers in the Ras al-Naqoura area near the border.

"The Lebanese side reviewed the matter of the wall which the Israeli enemy intends to build... confirming the position of the Lebanese government rejecting the construction of this wall as it violates Lebanese sovereignty," the Lebanese army told Reuters in a statement following Monday’s meeting.

The meeting also addressed the other source of Israeli-Lebanese tensions, which is Lebanon’s offshore energy exploration.

It was reported that the Lebanese side rejected Israeli comments on the oil and gas exploration programme, which have been described by Israeli officials as "very provocative" as some parts of the programme occur within disputed maritime territory.

Israeli accusations of Lebanon and Hizballah being used as an Iranian proxy have also led to a war of words between the two governments.

Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Defence Secretary, accused Lebanon of "subjugating fully" to Iran, for which, he threatened, it will "pay the full price".

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