Lebanon Claims: Israel Launched a 'Cyberwar' Against Us
A government committee in Lebanon claimed on Thursday that Israel was spying in the country and that its devices had infiltrated UNIFIL and army networks, reports The Daily Star.
According to the report, the Committee on Assessing the Dangers of the Israeli Telecomm Towers in Lebanese Territory, delivered a detailed review of Israel’s latest so-called spying activities, including recently erected spying stations.
The Telecommunications Ministry in Lebanon announced earlier this month that Israel had installed surveillance posts along the border with Lebanon capable of monitoring the entire country.
The review was attended by 27 foreign ambassadors, including those representing the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the European Union as well as the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly, according to The Daily Star.
During the session, the committee said Israel was waging a “cyberwar” on Lebanon, which it claimed violated the right of Lebanese to privacy, data confidentiality, safety and security, as well as the right of free access to information.
It added that such an “aggression” hurts the country’s economy, as it discourages investors and drives away capital, adding that confidence had already been shaken in both the public and private sectors.
Israel, according to the committee, infiltrated the Internet and the telecoms networks of the army, security forces and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.
Israel has also expanded its network in 39 different sites along the border with Lebanon by erecting dozens of towers and hundreds of antennas directed at Lebanon, the committee claimed in its report.
“This review aims to show these countries [what Israel is doing] so they can help us in the international arena and in other ways to put an end to Israel’s spying,” Hezbollah MP Hasan Fadlallah was quoted as having told reporters after the meeting.
Fadlallah claimed Israel was eavesdropping on the Lebanese through mobile phones, landlines and the Internet, and that UNIFIL’s transmissions and those of the Lebanese security forces were also exposed to espionage.
He added that the committee also showed a short film about the Israeli devices. “We told the attending diplomats their countries were also the victims of espionage and that none of them would accept such activities either,” he said, referring to the recent revelations that the U.S. was spying on its allies.
Fadlallah said the technical committee also showed methods used by Israel to spy on UNIFIL and other embassies.
He declared that the government was working on political and diplomatic levels by preparing a complaint to be submitted to the UN Security Council, as well as a memo to UN chief Ban Ki-moon.
Lebanon regularly arrests local citizens and charges them with spying for Israel. Three years ago, more than 30 Lebanese citizens were convicted on charges of collaborating with Israel and becoming citizens of the Jewish State. All received 15-year prison terms.
At least five people have been sentenced to death in Lebanon in recent years after being convicted on charges of spying for Israel.
More than 100 Lebanese citizens – including a number of highly-placed military officials – have been arrested by authorities on suspicion of spying for the Jewish State over the past several years.
Among those charged were a number of officials from the Lebanese Alfa Telecom telecommunications company, including one of the firm's executives, Charbel Qazzi. One of these Lebanese telecom “spies” managed to escape.
Last month, Hezbollah claimed that an eagle that was caught by recreational hunters in the Lebanese town of Ashqout was in fact an Israeli spy.