BEIRUT — Israel has seized and fenced off south Lebanese territory with barbed wire, and Lebanon has protested to the U.N. Security Council, acting Premier Salim Hoss said Tuesday.
"The complaint is based on information supplied by the United Nations, which asserts that Israel has seized border areas by building roads, fencing off territory and preventing people from visiting their land," Hoss said in an interview.
A military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv acknowledged that Israel has fenced off areas in south Lebanon recently to increase security but said that the government has no intention of seizing territory.
Hoss said he does not yet know the extent of territory fenced off inside the so-called border security zone held by Israeli troops and their Lebanese militia allies.
Security sources in south Lebanon, however, said that Israeli soldiers began to throw up barbed-wire fences in September at a number of places inside the zone and close to the border.
The border zone is 3 to 12 miles deep and stretches about 70 miles east from the Mediterranean Sea to the foothills of Mt. Hermon. About 100,000 Christians and Muslims live there.