DAMASCUS, SYRIA (01:25 PM) – Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, General Secretary of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has denounced Israeli plans to construct a border wall spanning the entirety of the border between the Israeli regime and Lebanon.
“After liberating the Lebanese occupied territories from the Zionist enemy in 2000, the UN demarcation of the national border with the Palestinian territories left 13 controversial positions, and the Lebanese government informed the UNIFIL [UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon] about its rejection for any Israeli measure in this concern,” Nasrallah said in a statement to Hezbollah’s news outlet al-Manar.
“The Islamic Resistance backs the Lebanese government and army, and the Zionists must take Lebanon’s warning seriously,” the General Secretary continued.
Nasrallah’s statements mirror that of Lebanese president Michel Aoun, who on Friday met with Major General Michael Beary, the Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNIFIL, in Beirut. During the meeting, the president stated that the border wall construction “isn’t compatible with the efforts that UNIFIL is exerting in cooperation with the Lebanese army to preserve security and stability along the southern border.”
The so-called Blue Line is a UN-mandated border demarcation that was installed in the year 2000, in order to ensure that there was clarity about the amount of territory Israeli occupation forces had to vacate in order to be in compliance with UN rules.
However, according to Aoun, “Lebanon doesn’t consider the Blue Line to be the final border. It is a temporary measure that was used following [Lebanon’s] liberation in 2000 and Israel’s withdrawal.”
Israel has however been constructing so-called border security fences in the area since the 1980s, a policy it has stepped up in May 2017, with plans being to construct a steel and barbed wire fence of six meters high.
According to a report by London-based news outlet Asharq Al-Awsat, UNIFIL commander Beary told the Lebanese government that Israel has in fact ceased construction while awaiting new tripartite talks upcoming in February.
On Sunday, the Israeli armed forces however denied this report in a statement to Jerusalem Post, stating that construction of the border wall at the Blue Line is continuing as planned earlier.