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Israel Begins Constructing Controversial Wall on Lebanon Border

Israel on Wednesday started constructing a controversial wall along its border with Lebanon, a barrier that Lebanon says would encroach on its territory.

Andrea Tenenti, spokesperson for the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon known as UNIFIL, confirmed the beginning of works in the Naqoura area and said the force is "fully engaged with both parties in order to find common solutions."

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Officials Start Signing Decree Merging Officers Seniority Decree with Promotions

Officials on Wednesday started signing a new decree merging the disputed officers seniority decree with the stalled promotions decree, TV networks said.

“As part of the solution that was agreed on in yesterday's tripartite meeting at the Baabda Palace, the promotions and the seniority decrees have been combined and the relevant officials have started signing the new decree,” LBCI television reported.

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Shorter Announces 'Rebecca Dykes Chevening Scholarship' at Beirut Ceremony

In memory of Rebecca Dykes, the slain UK Embassy employee, a commemoration ceremony was held Wednesday at the Mar Elias Church in Beirut's Kantari area.

The service was attended by British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter, embassy staff and Rebecca's family. Also present were Minister of State for Women's Affairs Jean Oghassabian representing President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, MP Yassine Jaber representing Speaker Nabih Berri, Brig. Gen. Omar Murad representing Army chief General Joseph Aoun and Defense Minister Yaacoub Sarraf, Col. Imad Dimashkiyeh representing General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, General Elias Toubaji representing ISF chief Maj. Gen. Imad Othman, in addition to ambassadors, ministers, embassy friends, and partner organizations with which Rebecca worked during her time in Lebanon.

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Higher Defense Council Instructs LAF to Confront Any Israeli Border Violation

The Higher Defense Council convened Wednesday at the Baabda Palace and instructed the Lebanese Armed Forces to confront any Israeli territorial or maritime border violations.

“The Council's meeting was dedicated to discussing the issue of the so-called cement wall off the southern border and within Lebanese territory, in addition to the claims that were launched by Israel's defense minister about the ownership of Block 9 within the territorial waters that are under Lebanese judicial sovereignty,” a statement issued after the meeting said.

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Lebanon, Russia to Sign Military Cooperation Treaty

Lebanon and Russia are preparing to sign a military cooperation treaty that involves a “comprehensive framework for coordination” and “joint activities” between the armies of the two countries, media reports said.

An official Russian government website for documents and information has published a government decree authorizing the Russian Defense Ministry to conduct “necessary talks with the relevant Lebanese authorities to draft a final format of the treaty.”

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Cabinet to Resume Its Sessions on Thursday

The Cabinet will resume its sessions on Thursday with an agenda containing 93 items most of them ordinary, media reports said.

“The Cabinet will issue a stance on the files of Israel's border wall and its ownership claim regarding Block 9,” ministerial sources told al-Joumhouria newspaper in remarks published Wednesday, referring to an offshore gas block in which Lebanon intends to launch exploration and drilling operations.

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Reports: Tillerson to Visit Lebanon Soon

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will soon visit Lebanon and his talks with Lebanese leaders will tackle the upcoming parliamentary elections, media reports said.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield is already in Lebanon for meetings with Lebanese officials. He arrived in Beirut on Tuesday.

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U.S. Attorneys Rest in Case of Lebanese Man Murder

The jury hearing the case of an Oklahoma man charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime in the killing of his Lebanese neighbor has been dismissed after attorneys trying the 2016 case rested.

A judge sent jurors home for the day in the Stanley Majors trial, clearing the way for closing arguments on Wednesday, when the jury is also expected to get the case.

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Syria Says Intercepted Israeli Strikes from Lebanon Airspace

Syrian air defense systems intercepted an Israeli air attack on a military position near the capital Damascus on Wednesday, the army said.

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Hizbullah Supporter Handed Over after Shooting 2 Men in Aramoun

A Hizbullah supporter was handed over to security forces Tuesday evening after he shot and wounded two men during a personal dispute in the Aley District town of Aramoun, the National News Agency said.

NNA said the shooter, identified as Hajj Abu Fadi Nael, was handed over after the Progressive Socialist Party's leadership and MP Akram Shehayyeb communicated with Hizbullah, which “lifted the political cover off” the man.

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