Israel is accused of stealing cattle and kidnapping shepherds from Lebanon

From Al Araby:

Proving yet again that it is the modern-day, heavily armed equivalent of a Wild West criminal gang, Israel has now expanded its activities from occupation and illegal settlement, into cattle rustling.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces snatched hundreds of goats from a south Lebanon border village after failing to kidnap a goat herder, according to the National News Agency.

Israeli soldiers first tried to kidnap the Lebanese shepherd named as Mohammad Qassem Hashem near the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms. 
When Hashem slipped from their hands, the soldiers stole more than 400 goats he owned, in an apparent act of revenge.

The Lebanese army and UN peacekeepers are attempting to retrieve them, according to the state-owned news agency.

Israeli soldiers routinely attempt to abduct Lebanese shepherds for a variery of reasons, including forcing them to provide information on Lebanese army and Hizballah positions.

Israeli soldiers are also known to snatch livestock animals from the border area, possibly meaning to intimidate locals hostile to Israel.
If Israel routinely attempts to kidnap shepherds and snatches sheep, one would expect that a formal complaint would be lodged with UNIFIL, which patrols the border and reports on all violations.

So I did a search for "sheep" and "shepherds" at the UNIFIL site. And here is what I found:

August 18, 2006
Violation of the Blue Line on the ground in Shebaa area has resumed. Yesterday, two Lebanese shepherds and approx. 100 sheep crossed the Blue Line towards Israel. Such incidents can endanger very fragile and tense situation. 
Report from July 2011:
UNIFIL has finalized its investigation into the incident of 12 January, when the Israel Defense Forces apprehended another shepherd in the same area. The investigation concluded that available evidence pointed to a likely Blue Line violation by the shepherd. As a result of the number of incidents in this area, UNIFIL has intensified daily foot and vehicle patrols and increased the number of observation posts along the Blue Line in this area. UNIFIL also called upon the Lebanese Armed Forces to increase their activities and sensitize local shepherds concerning the grazing of their livestock close to the Blue Line.  There were other ground violations of the Blue Line, mostly inadvertent, by Lebanese shepherds and farmers tending livestock or working in fields, mainly in the Shab’a Farms and KfarShouba areas. 
June 2013 report:
During the reporting period, UNIFIL observed an increase in the number of ground violations of the Blue Line committed by shepherds or farmers, which occurred on an almost daily basis. Most of these violations were inadvertent and occurred mainly in the Shab’a Farms area. UNIFIL protested the violations to the Lebanese Armed Forces and recalled that it is the primary responsibility of Lebanese authorities to ensure full respect for the Blue Line in its entirety.  
February 2015 report:
Most ground violations of the Blue Line were perpetrated by farmers or shepherds for short periods of time in the vicinity of Shab’a, Kafr Shuba, Bastara, Blida, El Majidiye (Sector East) and Rumaysh (Sector West). In some c ases, the shepherds, along with their flocks, stayed south of the Blue Line for several hours. 

Virtually every incident I saw was of Lebanese shepherds violating the Blue Line. Not a single example of Israelis stealing sheep or kidnapping shepherds.

And since a high percentage of these violations occur around the Shebaa Farms area, that Hezbollah claims as its own, this means that it is likely that Hezbollah is encouraging farmers to enter that land to assert control.

Either way, Lebanese media is lying.

(h/t Yigal)


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