An Experience to Die For on the Israel-Lebanon Border

Much has been made light of Israel protecting its borders with Gaza

This reminds me of another experience on one of Israel’s other borders, the border of Lebanon.

In the late 1980’s or 1990, I believe it was 1989, I stood on the gently demarcated shared border with Lebanon, standing about one foot away from the UN Soldier guarding the border from the Lebanese side.

The border was on a narrow paved road, separated by a painted line, with a standard guard booth adjacent to the road on the Lebanese side (I do not believe there was a guard or booth on the Israel side). I was on one side of the white line and the soldier was on the other side of the white line. He was standing in Lebanon and I was standing in Israel. Our toes were about one foot apart.

I believe that I was dressed in warm weather tourist clothes, probably a t-shirt, shorts and sneakers, perhaps with no socks.

The UN Soldier – I believe he said he was from Denmark – was dressed in a full military uniform with a semi automatic rifle in his arms, and maybe a holstered sidearm.

The UN soldier and I exchanged greetings in English and mild, seemingly friendly, small talk.

I then thought it would be an interesting thing to have been in Lebanon so I asked the guard if I could just put one foot quickly over the border and bring it right back so I could say I had been in Lebanon.

He said, “No, I will have to shoot you.”

I said to the soldier, “You’re kidding, right.?”

The UN Soldier in Lebanon said to me, “No, I’m not kidding, I will shoot you. And I mean it.”

I gently smiled and walked away.

Please form your own conclusions regarding how this relates to the persons seeking to breach Israel’s border from Gaza.


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