Israel violates Lebanese airspace 29 times in 48 hours

Israel violated Lebanese airspace 29 times in 48 hours, Lebanon says
2 min read
26 July, 2020
Israel has not responded to the airspace violation claims.
Tensions between the two states have remained tense in recent months [Getty]
Israel violated Lebanese airspace at least 29 times in 48 hours, Lebanon's army said on Saturday.

The breaches, which are being monitored in coordination with the UN Lebanon Peacekeeping Mission,  were in a circular flight format.

"On Friday, Israeli planes violated Lebanese air space 20 times, and on Saturday 9 times," an army statement said.

"Enemy forces have flown unmanned air vehicles with observational purposes, and flown them over the southern Hula province," Lebanon's official news agency reported.

Israel has not responded to the claims.

Tensions between the two states have remained tense in recent months, with Israel's military saying on Thursday it was reinforcing its northern border with Lebanon.

The announcement came after a deadly airstrike on Hezbollah positions in Syria increased tensions.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah group threatened to retaliate for a suspected Israeli strike, close to Damascus International Airport, which killed one of its fighters and four foreign militants.

Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported that Israel had also cancelled a major military exercise on the northern border in preparation for a potential Hezbollah attack.

Hezbollah has vowed in the past to retaliate for any fighter that Israel kills in Syria.

The group fired a barrage of anti-tank missiles into Israel on 1 September last year after two of its fighters were killed in an Israeli airstrike near Damascus days earlier.

That prompted Israel to fire heavy artillery at Lebanon in a rare burst of fighting between the two sides. Hezbollah and Israel fought a 34-day war in 2006 that ended inconclusively.

Read also: Lebanon – Adrift in Stormy Seas

Israel did not comment on this week's military action and generally refrains from discussing its activities in neighbouring Syria, but it is believed to have carried out hundreds of strikes against pro-Iranian forces during the nearly decade-long conflict.

Tehran has sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters in the past years to fight alongside Syrian regime forces.

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