Israeli man repatriated after crossing border into Lebanon: military

Jerusalem: An Israeli national who crossed the border into Lebanon a few weeks ago was repatriated, the Israeli military said.

“IDF (Israel Defense Forces) troops conducted a joint operational effort with UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) and Israeli security officials, returning an Israeli civilian who crossed the Blue Line into Lebanon a few weeks ago,” the Israeli military added in a statement.

The Israeli civilian was returned to the Rosh Hanikra Crossing at Israel’s northern border on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

25-year-old man, from the Negev desert region in southern Israel, apparently entered Lebanese territory “voluntarily and consciously,” the statement said.

Ran Kochav, a spokesperson for the Israeli military, told the Hebrew-language Ha’aretz newspaper that the man apparently intended to join the Hezbollah, an Iran-backed military group and party in Lebanon.

He was apprehended by Lebanese forces immediately after crossing the border and taken for questioning, apparently by the Hezbollah, Kochav said.

The Israeli military spokesperson claimed that the man has a criminal record and suffers a mental illness.

Israel and Lebanon don’t have diplomatic ties and the Israeli law bans its citizens from traveling to Lebanon.