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Israel starts to install 'noise-detecting' sensors along Lebanon border

The new noise-detecting technology is due to be installed on Sunday [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 January, 2020

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Israel said work to install noise-detecting sensors would get underway on Sunday at the Israeli kibbutz town of Misgav Am, along the Lebanese border.
Israel's army said it would start drilling to install ground sensors along its border with Lebanon on Sunday, a year after an operation to destroy tunnels dug across the frontier.

"We are deploying a defensive system into the ground.. in various locations" along the border, spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus told journalists.

Work would get underway on Sunday at the Israeli kibbutz town of Misgav Am, he said, to deploy the new noise-detecting technology.

The move comes a year after Israel concluded a weeks-long operation to destroy tunnels it accused Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah of building.

At least six tunnels were discovered in the operation dubbed "Northern Shield" along the border where a United Nations peacekeeping force is deployed.

Conricus said the drilling is "not related to any new intelligence" and all military activity would take place on the Israeli side of the border.

Read also: Israeli collaborator Amer al-Fakhoury's return to Lebanon sparks nostalgic memory of leftist resistance

Work at Misgav Am is expected to last a number of weeks before the sensors are installed along other sections of the border.

"We understand that our activity might be seen, and most probably will be heard, on the Lebanese side," said Conricus.

Israel has notified the UNIFIL peacekeeping force which patrols the "blue line" drawn by the UN to mark Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Lebanon and Israel are still technically at war. 

A month-long conflict in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Since then, skirmishes have taken place along the border.

In October, Lebanon's state-run news agency said a Lebanese man shot down an Israeli drone with a hunting rifle near the border village of Kfar Kila.

Lebanon's MTV news station reported that the drone was shot down by Hezbollah, but the group's Al-Manar news said a civilian shot it down.

The Israeli military admitted to flying a drone over Lebanon, saying it was done as a part of "routine operations to secure the border".

The military, however, claimed the drone "fell" as opposed to being shot down.

A week earlier, the Lebanese army accused Israel of sending a reconnaissance drone over Beirut's southern suburbs, also a bastion of Hezbollah.

"One of the Israel enemy's reconnaissance drones violated Lebanese air space... overflew the southern suburbs and left," the army said in a statement. 

On 25 August, two explosive-laden drones were sent to the same area. One of them exploded, sparking a dangerous escalation between Hezbollah and Israel.

A Lebanese government investigation concluded last month the two Israeli drones were on an attack mission when they crashed in Beirut in August.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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