At a time when the country is trying to build a new security system that will keep Lebanon safe from future attacks, tension is running high as a unit of Israeli security forces arrived at a new Lebanese border checkpoint.
The Israeli army announced the arrival of an additional unit of troops on Wednesday, in the hopes that Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who has led the country for more than three years, will sign the agreement with Israel to open up the border to a second round of refugees and people displaced by the war in Syria.
The two sides have been negotiating over the agreement, which has not yet been approved by a UN Security Council vote, since late January, but it has sparked alarm in Lebanon, where the population is deeply divided over the fate of refugees who fled the war.
Last week, the government in the impoverished country agreed to allow up to 300,000 Syrians and over 50,000 other people from Syria to seek asylum in Lebanon.
The Lebanese government has been demanding that Syrians leave Lebanon for the past five years, fearing the country could become an international pariah if it did not accept them.
But the Syrian government has resisted such an agreement, saying the Syrians would be subject to arrest, prosecution and punishment if they returned home.
The deal was initially agreed in April, but negotiations fell apart in June over the need to ensure the security of the border, with the Syrian and Lebanese sides agreeing to agree to separate security arrangements.
The new border patrol units are part of an expanded system of border security that is expected to cost about $6 billion over the next five years and take up to 18 months to build.
It is a crucial step in Israel’s efforts to bolster its security at a time of rising tensions in the country, where Israel is trying, with varying degrees of success, to prevent an armed attack on its southern border.
The army has deployed more than 100,000 soldiers to the Lebanese side of the frontier, while more than 5,000 Israeli soldiers are stationed in the southern region.
The border guards are a joint Israeli-Lebanese military force, and they patrol the border in an effort to protect Israel from possible attacks from Lebanese Hezbollah and other terrorist groups.
The border guards have been deployed to protect the southern border for decades, and have become a key part of the Israeli military’s security operations against the Islamic State group, which controls parts of Syria and Iraq.
The Syrian government’s opposition to the new Israeli military unit is understandable, as it has long sought to stop the border with Lebanon.
The new troops will strengthen the government’s grip on the border area, which it fears could become a major target in an escalation of violence with Israel.
The government in Lebanon is expected in the coming weeks to announce the formation of a joint military council to take charge of security operations in the border region.
This could further complicate the peace talks between Israel and the Syrian opposition.