Israel Kidnaps Lebanese Shepherd, UNIFIL Holds Contacts to Release Him

Lebanese shepherd Youssef Mohamed Zahra was abducted Friday by the Israeli army near the Southern area of Shebaa Farms, while he was grazing his flock in the Shahel region, state-run National News Agency reported.

The farmer was ambushed by Israeli troops who crossed 20 meters into the Lebanese territory.

Zahra was blindfolded and abducted into the occupied territories.

The Lebanese army sent a complaint to the leadership of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Naqoura, considering the accident as “a violation of the border” and demanding the immediate release of the abducted shepherd.

UNIFIL opened an investigation, holding contacts with the Israeli army to release the kidnapped.

UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said that "the Lebanese army informed the UNIFIL of the kidnapping which in turn held contacts with the Israeli army.

Tenenti said the Israeli army confirmed the abduction, adding that efforts are being exerted to release Zahra as soon as possible.

Foreign Minister Mansour condemned the abduction of Zahra, "pointing out that "the international community must force Israel to stop its recurrent and persistent violations against Lebanon."

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