Cutting trees could ‘trigger a war’ on Israel-Lebanon border

“The cutting of a branch here could trigger a war,” said Andrea Tenenti of UNIFIL.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Deep-rooted tensions increase along the Israel-Lebanon border as trees planted by Lebanon to obscure Israel’s view continue to grow.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the United Nations is trying to broker a deal between the two sides to prevent the dispute from turning into another deadly conflict.

“The cutting of a branch here could trigger a war,” said Andrea Tenenti, spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Across the border from the Israeli town of Metula, the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila worked with the organization Green Without Borders to plant trees on the Israeli side of the UN’s Blue Line near the Israeli security wall.

According to Israeli and UN officials, Israel gave Lebanon permission to plant trees on its side of the Blue Line with the understanding that the trees would not block Israel’s surveillance cameras. However, Lebanon planted tall trees that quickly began to obstruct the view.

“That is our land, and the Blue Line means nothing to us,” said Hassan Sheet, the mayor of Kfar Kila.

Since the trees were planted on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, UNIFIL personnel trimmed them back on April 14, clearing the security cameras’ line of sight along the border.

Israeli officials have long insisted that despite its claim to be an environmental organization, Green Without Borders is nothing more than a Hezbollah front group which allows the terror organization to operate in southern Lebanon in violation of UN resolution 1701.

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Tree cover created by Green Without Borders was used by Hezbollah on September 1, 2019, when the organization fired anti-tank missiles at Israeli forces.

A deadly clash broke out on August 3, 2010, when the Lebanese army opened fire on Israeli forces pruning trees on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, killing Lt. Col. Dov Harari. Israeli forces returned fire, killing three Lebanese.