Israel began building a wall on Monday along a 1-km (0.6 mile) -stretch of its border with Lebanon, saying the barrier was necessary to boost security for an Israeli frontier town across from a Lebanese village.
An Israeli security fence already runs along the entire border but the military said defenses had to be bolstered with a 5-7 meter-(16-23 feet) high cement wall between the Israeli town of Metulla and the Lebanese village of Kila.
"(The wall is) intended to prevent firing from the Lebanese side into the Israeli side. In the past year and a half there have been a number of incidents," Colonel Amit Fisher, a senior commander on the border, told Israel Radio.
The army Spokesperson's Unit said the current barrier is being upgraded to "protect the northern communities and boost defense in areas of friction between the IDF and the Lebanese army."
Preparation for construction of wall (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
The wall is being built with the cooperation of the UN peacekeeping force, the IDF said.
A ceasefire has largely been maintained along the frontier since Israel fought a war against Lebanon's Hezbollah terrorists in 2006.
The Israeli military said the border project had been coordinated with the UN force and Lebanese Army, adding that it is expected to be completed in about a month.
UNIFIL forces at Legbanese border (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Last week, on the eve of Independence Day, Palestinian crossed the border from Lebanon into Israel with his two children and was immediately detained by Israeli troops. The man was not carrying any weapons. Terrorists have not infiltrated Israel through its northern border for years.
Israel is also building a security fence in its south, along the border with Egypt's Sinai desert, citing concerns over militant activity and smuggling.
An Israeli barrier also twists through the occupied West Bank. Israel says the project, begun during a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings inside Israeli cities, has bolstered its security. Palestinians call it a land grab and the World Court has deemed the barrier illegal.
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