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Hezbollah journalist films self within touching distance of IDF tank on border

A Lebanese journalist for Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar TV filmed himself Tuesday standing next to an Israeli tank on the border between Israel and Lebanon, as UNIFIL peacekeeping forces appeared to stand idly by.

In video posted to Al-Manar’s website, Ali Shoeib is seen moving within feet of the armored military vehicle, claiming it was encroaching on “liberated” Lebanese soil and deployed to protect nearby Israeli soldiers.

A separate clip shared by Shoeib shared on X showed a number of Lebanese soldiers standing on Lebanon’s side of the unmarked “Blue Line,” opposite Israeli soldiers on the other side of the border. Peacekeepers from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon stood between them, saying that they were in a “state of alert.”

In another video he shared of himself standing in front of the tank, Shoeib said, “this tank will leave, while we children of this land will remain here, and these attackers will leave.”

Al-Manar said the Lebanese army has begun construction on a military road across from an Israeli road in the army.

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The incident took place in the Mount Dov area, which Lebanon claims and refers to as the Shebaa Farms. It is one of several so-called enclaves along the border that are part of Israeli territory but on the Lebanese side of the fence.

The tank and Israeli troops were guarding Defense Ministry employees working at the site as part of the “Fortified Galilee” project to build a new security fence along the Blue Line, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

وجهاً لوجه مع دبابة إسرائيلية#مزارع_شبعا

— علي شعيب || Ali Shoeib ???????? (@alishoeib1970) September 26, 2023

In April, Hezbollah crossed the Blue Line demarcation in Mount Dov to establish two tents manned by operatives from the Iran-backed terror group. One tent was removed after Israel sent a message to Hezbollah threatening an armed confrontation if it did not dismantle the outpost soon. But the second has remained there for months, with no Israeli military action.

Aside from the tents, Hezbollah has instigated other provocative actions along the frontier in recent months. In mid-July, IDF troops filmed camouflaged Hezbollah members walking along the border near the northern Israeli town of Dovev. The troops did not engage them. The patrol was in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended a month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.

On July 15, a group of Lebanese, including a parliamentarian, crossed the border into Israeli sovereign territory, before being chased back to Lebanon by IDF troops who fired warning shots.

Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report