BEIRUT — Israeli forces with two Bucklin bulldozers, a D9 bulldozer, an armored personnel carrier and an infantry force, have advanced since Sunday morning beyond the technical fence off Wadi Hunin, in the Marjayoun area of South Lebanon, while the Lebanese Army remains in a "state of alert" in the locality to prevent any breach of the Blue Line, which demarcates the border between Lebanon and its southern neighbor, the state-run National News Agency reported.
On Wednesday, tensions increased on the Lebanese Israeli border when Israeli bulldozers crossed the Blue Line, clearing the area near the "technical fence" at the Israeli town of Metula, not far from Marjayoun.
"There is a problem when the Israeli army carries out work along the technical fence, because Lebanese authorities consider some areas sensitive, as they are not yet marked as part of the Blue Line," the spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Andrea Tenenti, told L'Orient-Le Jour on Friday, adding that "the situation is calm" along the Blue Line in South Lebanon and UNIFIL has asked Israel to stop excavating in areas considered "sensitive."
Tenenti said in a statement on Thursday evening that UNIFIL is "present on the ground where work is being carried out [by Israel] to see if there are violations of the Blue Line and to ease tensions or misunderstandings. "We are in constant contact" with Lebanon and Israel, he added.
While Israeli ground violations are relatively rare, its airforce violates Lebanese airspace on an almost daily basis.
The Blue Line is a line drawn in June 2000 by the UN after the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon on May, 25, 2000 ending the occupation that began in 1982.