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Israel builds security wall on Lebanon border

Israel began construction on a security wall on the Lebanese border.

Israel lebanon border army builds security wall april 2012Enlarge
Seen from across the southern Lebanese border, an Israeli armored vehicle stands by as huge cement blocks are placed forming part of a separation barrier between the two nations near the Fatima Gate on March 11, 2012. (ALI DIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel began construction on a wall on Monday, along a one kilometer stretch of its border with Lebanon, according to Reuters.

Israel claimed the wall was needed to increase security for an Israeli village close to the Lebanese village across the border.

A security fence already exists across the entire Israel-Lebanon border, but the stretch between the Israeli town of Metulla and the Lebanese village of Kila will be reinforced with a 16 to 23 foot high cement wall, said Reuters.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said, "This construction, which began on Monday, is being carried out in coordination with UNIFIL (the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) and the Lebanese army. The wall is intended to avoid frictions on the border," according to AFP.

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According to The Jerusalem Post, Metulla is just six kilometers from the Lebanese border and has a population of approximately 1,500.

Metulla was hit by rocket and gun fire from Lebanon during the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah, causing injuries and deaths in the Israeli town, according to The Jerusalem Post.

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The same war cost 1,200 Lebanese (mostly civilians) their lives as well as 160 Israelis (mostly soldiers), according to AFP.

AFP noted that though Israel and Lebanon are technically at war, military officers from both sides meet to coordinate security along the border which they share.

Reuters noted that Israel is also constructing a security fence along the border with Egypt, near the Sinai desert, citing smuggling and increased militant activity.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/120430/israel-builds-security-wall-lebanon-bo