by: Kate Norman
Thursday, 22 July 2021 | The Israeli military arrested two men who crossed the border from Lebanon into Israel early Thursday morning, the military said.
“They appear to be job seekers,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Twitter. The two have been arrested and are currently being held for questioning.
The IDF spotted two men crossing into Israel around 2 a.m. and launched an hours-long manhunt to find them, locking down the area and initially telling locals to remain in their homes with the doors locked.
The men were reportedly entering Israel to look for work, likely to escape the crisis in which Lebanon is currently embroiled.
Israel’s neighbor to the north is in serious financial and political trouble. The currency has crashed and inflation has ballooned, causing the price of food and other necessities to skyrocket. The price of food has increased by 700% over the past two years, according to a report by Crisis Observatory at the American University of Beirut.
The middle class in Lebanon has reportedly disappeared, and the situation is deteriorating so badly that the once-thriving nation could become the “Venezuela of the Mediterranean,” according to the report.
Many of those who can afford to leave Lebanon have abandoned the sinking ship. But there are those who cannot and are left in desperate circumstances.
The two men who hopped the border into Israel are likely a symptom of Lebanon’s serious problem—and they probably won’t be the last.
They aren’t the first, either. A similar situation happened in June, when the military arrested two Turkish nationals who also crossed into Israel from Lebanon looking for work.
Earlier this month, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz offered for Israel to send humanitarian aid to ease the burden on Lebanon. There was no response.
“As an Israeli, as a Jew, and as a human being, my heart aches seeing the images of people going hungry on the streets of Lebanon,” Gantz said at the time.
The Jewish state and Lebanon had a slight skirmish in the predawn hours of Tuesday morning when two rockets were fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel. One rocket was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system, and the other landed in an open space, causing no casualties or damage.
Nonetheless, Israel takes any attack seriously, and responded by striking the launch site where the rockets were fired from in Lebanon. No culprit was officially pinpointed for the rocket attack, but the rockets were notably fired from the same area that Palestinian terrorists operating in Lebanon launched toward Israel in May.
The IDF has also thwarted several weapons and drug smuggling attempts at the border over the past few months, and the military has warned that several similar occurrences could take place as Lebanon continues to sink into the financial mire.
Posted on July 22, 2021
Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 22, 2021)
Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com
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