Israel detains Lebanese shepherd: officials

BEIRUT- Israeli soldiers detained on Sunday a Lebanese shepherd near the Shebaa Farms, a small enclave occupied by the Jewish state but claimed by Beirut, officials said.
"One Lebanese civilian was apprehended by the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) in the general area of Shebaa and is currently in IDF custody," Neeraj Singh, spokesman for the UNIFIL peacekeeping force in Lebanon, told AFP.

Village of Shebaa
Village of Shebaa
"UNIFIL force commander is in contact with the parties with a view to resolving the situation."
The Lebanese army and security services identified the arrested person as 37-year-old shepherd Imad Hassan Atwi.
An official with the security services said the shepherd was abducted in an area where there is no barbed wire separating Shebaa Farms from the Lebanese town of Shebaa.
But UNIFIL and the army did not wish to specify whether the Israeli troops had carried out an incursion into Lebanon, adding an investigation was underway.
The Shebaa Farms, a mountainous sliver of land rich in water resources measuring 25 square kilometres (10 square miles), is located at the junction of southeast Lebanon, southwest Syria and northern Israel.
The area has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war and caught in a tug-of-war over ownership ever since.
Israel has detained Lebanese shepherds in the area before, but has handed them back to UNIFIL soldiers on each occasion after holding them for questioning.

Sunday, June 27th 2010

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