An Israeli soldier peering through his weapon scope while on patrol near the Lebanese. (photo by AP)

IOF deploys heavily near Lebanese border

PNN/Jerusalem

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have heavily deployed troops and equipment along the Lebanese border and stepped up military activities there on Wednesday, according to Lebanese sources.

For the second consecutive day in a row, the IOF fired tear gas canisters at Lebanese herders and local farmers working near the border with the occupied Palestinian territories, The Daily Star reported.

“We were proceeding with our lives normally and everyone was working their land. Then we saw the Israeli patrol and its members begin shooting tear gas at us,” Mustafa Ahmad, one of the herders, said.

On Tuesday, local residents said the IOF repeatedly shot tear gas canisters during the morning hours. Shortly after, a large number of Israeli military jeeps were stationed in an illegal Israeli settlement across the Lebanese village of Kfar Kila.

According to witness accounts, the IOF used trees and shrubs for cover and monitored the movements within Lebanon as motorized patrols were conducted.

According to alBawaba, local sources say Israeli patrols along the border have increased in the past week, with Israeli soldiers taking up ambush positions in the area.

The activities have sparked fears among local residents, who question the motives behind Israel’s latest transgression, The Daily Star said.

Israel launched two wars on Lebanon in 2000 and 2006. About 1,200 Lebanese, most of them civilians, lost their lives during the 33-day war in the summer of 2006.