(October 23, 2018 / The Tower) The Israel Defense Forces charged that a purported environmental group has been serving as a lookout for the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist group, Hezbollah, and set up an outpost to spy on Israeli military activity one kilometer from the border, The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.
The outpost violates U.S. Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, and prohibits any armed groups in southern Lebanon below the Litani River.
The outpost is disguised as belonging to a phony environmental group, Green Without Borders.
According to the IDF, this is the sixth such outpost that it has discovered during the past two years.
In June of last year, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon wrote a letter to the U.N. Security Council with photographs of five outposts. It called on the council to “demand that the government of Lebanon dismantle these observation posts immediately, and prevent any future activity of Hezbollah and its affiliates in southern Lebanon, particularly near the Blue Line” that separates Israel from its northern neighbor.
The IDF issued a statement saying “Hezbollah acts as if the IDF is not aware of its activities.”
“There are no birds or forests there,” an official of the IDF’s Northern Command told Israeli media. “Hezbollah is building military infrastructure along the border with armed men moving there when they are watching the Israeli border. This is military infrastructure in civilian guise.”
“From inside Israel, we can see observation posts and sensor equipment,” he added. “Even if the outpost is unarmed, we know that its goals are not innocent. The objective is to gather intelligence on the border.”
The United Nations, however, denied the Israeli claims, stating that “UNIFIL has not observed any unauthorized armed persons at the locations or found any basis to report a violation of resolution 1701 but continues to monitor activities closely.”
In August of last year, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley criticized UNIFIL for failing to stop the shipments of arms to Hezbollah in violation of Resolution 1701, and said that the head of UNIFIL must be “the only person in south Lebanon who is blind to what Hezbollah is doing.”