An Israeli army excavator dumped several loads of sand across the border into Lebanon Friday, guarded by Israeli troops, an AFP correspondent saw.
The sand, spread over a strip six meters (yards) wide and several hundred meters (yards) long, will show up any footprints or vehicle tracks on the Lebanese side, experts say.
The excavator went through the metal barrier put up by the Israelis in the Marjayoun valley, opposite the Israeli town of Metulla, and crossed repeatedly back and forth, protected by an Israeli patrol.
The incident followed a report by Lebanese police Thursday that two Israeli artillery shells fired during military maneuvers exploded in an uninhabited area of southern Lebanon, but caused no casualties or property damage.
The incident occurred during three hours of live firing exercises by the Israeli army in the farms of Shabaa, located at the convergence of the Lebanese, Israeli and Syrian borders and controlled by Israel since its occupation in 1967.
Israel, for its part, has complained to the United Nations about a number of incidents at the border, mainly involving civilians throwing stones and petrol bombs, which Israel says has injured several of its soldiers.
Israeli troops have on occasions responded with live fire or rubber-coated metal bullets, and 17 Lebanese have been injured as a result.
Beirut refused to give the green light to the deployment of UN forces in the border area until August 4th, because of continuing Israeli violations of the withdrawal line drawn up in conjunction with UN experts -- MARJAYOUN VALLEY, Lebanon (AFP)
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