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Israeli forces fire smoke grenades at Lebanese army patrol

An Israeli army position (background) looks over a Lebanese army soldier looking through his binoculars in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa farms, southern Lebanon, on October 8, 2014. (Photo by AP)

Israeli forces have fired smoke grenades at the Lebanese army intelligence soldiers, who were on their routine patrol in the country’s south, and injured them.

An unidentified security source told the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper that the incident took place near the Lebanese village of Bilda on Saturday.

Several soldiers lost consciousness and were quickly taken to a hospital for medical attention, the report said. 

Peacekeepers with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), who are stationed along Lebanon’s southern border with the occupied territories, were informed of the Israeli attack, the source added.

Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war, UNIFIL is tasked with monitoring a cessation of hostilities in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah Sectary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that Riyadh was inciting Israel to strike Lebanon. Hezbollah, he said, is watching carefully for any Israeli attempts to use the crisis to begin hostilities against Lebanon.

“I warn them against any miscalculation or any step to exploit the situation,” he said. “Today we are more confident and feeling stronger in the face of any threat,” said Nasrallah.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, Tel Aviv has been preparing for the next war with Hezbollah since 2006, especially after getting a bloody nose in the previous confrontation. 

Israel launched two wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006, in both of which the Hezbollah resistance movement inflicted heavy losses on the regime’s military. Over the past months, Israeli officials have threatened another war on Lebanon.

Israeli forces regularly violate Lebanon’s sovereignty and target Lebanese patrol soldiers.

Israeli soldiers patrol along the Lebanese border, on January 28, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

Back in September, Lebanese President Michel Aoun complained about Israel’s failure to respect Lebanon’s territorial integrity.

“The Israeli enemy remains lurking. Israel keeps violating Lebanon’s sovereignty through daily breaches of its airspace and thus international resolutions. The international community has not been able to compel it to abide by the resolutions in force, not even by the international solutions that are put forward for the sake of peace in the region,” he said.

He further defended the Hezbollah fighters’ role in defending the country against Israel.

“Hezbollah are not using their weapons in internal politics. They only ensure our resistance against … Israel, which continues to occupy part of our territory,” Aoun noted.

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