Hezbollah’s Al Manar satellite network has identified an individual who crossed the Israeli border into Lebanon on Monday as U.S. citizen Colin Emery.
According to Lebanese news reports, Emery is an American Jew. Lebanese officials informed the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon of the incident and are currently in talks with Washington, the reports said.
Emery was reportedly transferred to the custody of Lebanese intelligence agents by the commander of Hezbollah’s intelligence unit in southern Lebanon.
The Lebanese military confirmed security and intelligence forces were holding a U.S. citizen by the name of Colin Emery.
Underpinning heightened tensions and the complex reality along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, Israel Defense Forces’ troops on Tuesday discovered a hole in the security fence and footprints leading into Lebanon.
The IDF has launched a comprehensive investigation in an effort to understand how someone could cross from Israel into Lebanon undetected.
Initially, Arab media outlets reported that Lebanese army units had been scrambled to the border area after a man was spotted carrying documents in Hebrew. They said a mentally unstable individual was being detained while attempting to purchase a change of clothes and was being held in the village of Ayta ash-Shab, near the Israeli border.
Earlier this week, the IDF declared it was ending “Operation Northern Shield” targeting Hezbollah’s cross-border attack tunnels. Altogether, six tunnels were discovered and neutralized during the operation, and information about additional tunnels was transferred to the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, UNIFIL.