World Bulletin / News Desk
In an interview with Al-Jaysh magazine published by the Lebanese army, General Joseph Aoun said the armed forces remain steadfast in their refusal to allow Israel to build a border wall on Lebanese territory.
He said the Lebanese Supreme Defense Council has stressed the country’s right to defend its land and sea borders and the army was ready to assume this task in the field.
Since early February, Israel has been building a wall along its border with Lebanon, claiming it is located behind the temporary "Blue Line" created by the UN to demarcate Israel’s withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000.
But Beirut has confirmed that the wall is passing through land it says belongs to Lebanon but lies on the Israeli side of the line.
Tensions between Lebanon and Israel have also been escalating due to Tel Aviv’s claim of sovereignty over an offshore oil and gas field known as Block 9 in the Mediterranean Sea while Lebanon affirms it owns the block.
Aoun added that the Lebanese army has tightened control over the country's borders to prevent the infiltration of militants and the smuggling of arms and contraband, is pursuing terrorist cells and suspicious elements, and will intervene immediately to resolve any breach of security.
He also pointed out that the army closed all illegal crossings on its eastern border with Syria.
In August, the Lebanese army launched a major offensive -- dubbed Operation Jaroud Arsal -- aimed at dislodging ISIL militants from mountainous parts of the country near the Syrian border.
In September, Lebanese army troops backed by Hezbollah fighters captured the border town of Jaroud Arsal from ISIL.