UNIFIL calls on Lebanon, Israel to maintain calm on border

The UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon on Sunday urged the country and Israel to maintain calm following an incident on the demarcation Blue Line, the National News Agency reported.

Earlier in the day, the Lebanese Army Command said an “Israeli enemy patrol breached” at noon the Blue Line near Lebanon’s southern town of Ayta al-Shaab by about one meter, prompting a Lebanese army patrol to force them to retreat back to areas beyond the line.

“UNIFIL is aware of the tensions that are occurring along the Blue Line in the Aita (Ayta) al-Shaab area, where some Israeli maintenance work is taking place,” said Candice Ardell, deputy director of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon Media Office.

“UNIFIL forces are at the site, and are seeking to reduce tension … We urge all parties and all those present at the scene to maintain calm,” she added.

The Blue Line separates the territories between Lebanon and Israel and was drawn in June 2000 by the United Nations after the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon on May 25, 2000.

UNIFIL forces are deployed in southern Lebanon, and its area of operations is defined by the Litani River in the north and the Blue Line in the south, according to the UN mission’s webpage. ■

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