MARWAHEEN, Lebanon – UN and Israeli tanks have been involved in a brief face-off on a road in southern Lebanon where the Israeli army has been setting up checkpoints.
Four French Leclerc tanks with UN peacekeepers moved up the hill to stand 500 meters (yards) from the entrance to the border village of Marwaheen, as two Israeli Merkava tanks operated nearby on Lebanese soil.
Standing some 50 meters from each other, the tanks were locked in a 20-minute face-off, the first between the Israeli army and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has been boosted to oversee the current truce.
The French tanks then withdrew from the area, as observers of the UN Truce Supervision Organisation deployed in the area.
Israeli soldiers confiscated the identity cards of photographers at the scene, claiming they may give pictures of the Israeli military to militants of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.
Israeli forces, whose country fought a July-August war with Hezbollah, have set up flying checkpoints in the area in the past two days, prompting the Lebanese government to file complaints to UNIFIL.