09/07/2020 – A new security challenge has emerged from Lebanon: Sudanese trying to cross the Blue Line into Israeli territory in search of work. In May 2020, the IDF prevented three incidents involving ten infiltrators, and in mid-June, one was captured on the outskirts of the town of Shlomi, in northern Israel. In addition, there were at least four cases reported in which close to twenty would-be infiltrators were captured by the Lebanese army, some with the help of UNIFIL, as well as one case of a Sudanese who was found shot to death deep in Lebanese territory. There are also an increasing number of reports of military operations or increased drills by the IDF along the northern border, including illuminating shells, land forces, and aircraft, and in mid-May, a Syrian who had crossed into Israel was shot and wounded in the Mt. Dov region. A municipality leader went far in describing the seriousness of the situation, and other elected officials compared the attempted infiltrations from Lebanon to past infiltrations along the Egyptian border, in an attempt to leverage this development politically by reigniting the issue of migrant workers in Israel and to take a stab at the legal system.
However, those seeking work are not terrorists, a few infiltrators are not a wave, the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon is not the peace border in Sinai, and the necessary response on both sides of the border must be crafted professionally, based on the unique characteristics of the challenge at the current time.