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Lebanese shepherd seized by Israel military

Published: Updated:

A shepherd was seized on Wednesday from a southern Lebanese border town by the Israeli military, Lebanon’s National News Agency reported.

The NNA said Ismail Saab had been taken from Shebaa, a southeastern border town near Israel, into the disputed Shebaa Farms area.

It cited the UN’s mission in southern Lebanon and the International Committee for the Red Cross. Spokespersons for both bodies were not immediately available for comment on Wednesday, but a Lebanese military source confirmed the news to AFP.

“Discussions are ongoing for his release,” the source said. The Shebaa Farms have been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Middle East war. Lebanon says the area is Lebanese territory, while the UN says it was annexed from Syria.

The UN peacekeeping force that monitors the area urged both sides to avoid an escalation. The incident comes just days after the Israeli army released a Lebanese woman it had detained from the same area.