A Lebanese man was shot and killed by Israeli troops after he and others protesting in support of Palestinians tried to cross a security fence on the border with Israel, Lebanon’s state news agency NNA reported.
NNA said another person was wounded on Friday after protesters gathered along the border in a show of solidarity with Palestinians as Israel continued a relentless bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip.
Lebanon’s Marjayoun Governmental Hospital told Al Jazeera that 21-year-old Mohammad Tahhan had died of his wounds. The condition of the second protester was not immediately known.
Earlier, the Israeli military said a number of people in Lebanon had damaged the border fence and set fire to a field. They retreated after Israeli tanks fired warning shots.
The Lebanese protesters had gathered close to the fence, waving flags, including the Palestinian national flag and the flag of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, a staunch opponent of Israel.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said in a statement he “strongly condemned the crime committed by Israeli forces”.
The protesters were later dispersed by the Lebanese army in the presence of UNIFIL, the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon that monitors the boundary with Israel, a witness said.
UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Teneti said in the statement they launched an investigation into the incident, and have increased their presence at the border alongside the Lebanese army.
“We are aware of reports that a Lebanese civilian was killed along the Blue Line near Kafer Kila today during a confrontation with the IDF,” the statement read. “Any loss of life is tragic, and we urge everyone to remain calm and avoid further escalating the situation and risking more lives.”
Hezbollah released after the incident, saying that he died as “a martyr.”
On Thursday, three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon near the Palestinian refugee camp of Rashidiyeh towards Israel, a Lebanese military source said. Israel’s army said the rockets landed in the sea.
A source close to Hezbollah said the Lebanese Shia group had no link to the incident.
Additional reporting by Kareem Chehayeb in Beirut.