Hezbollah reportedly installs surveillance camera network along Israeli border

Hezbollah reportedly installs surveillance camera network along Israeli border

Israeli expert says Shiite group’s hyperactivity in recent weeks, including its dispatch of a drone over Israel, suggests a preparation for conflict

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

A photo of Nasrallah on the fence of the Lebanese border, 2008 (photo credit: Hamad Almakt/Flash 90)
A photo of Nasrallah on the fence of the Lebanese border, 2008 (photo credit: Hamad Almakt/Flash 90)

Hezbollah has installed a surveillance camera network along the entirety of the Lebanese border with Israel, a Lebanese daily reported on Wednesday.

According to Al-Mustaqbal, which is affiliated with the Lebanese opposition’s March 14 Alliance, the cameras are located at a distance ranging from “a few meters to 200 meters” from the Blue Line, the international border between Israel and Lebanon. Security sources told the daily that the cameras were installed on tree trunks and branches.

The sources said the cameras serve a dual purpose: to monitor the movement of Israeli army patrols along the border, and to follow the activities of southern Lebanese farmers on their property. The camera network is controlled from a distance by a Hezbollah operations room.

Hezbollah has also just completed maintenance work on its southern Lebanese telephone network, which is interlinked with the national telephone company, the sources said, adding that Hezbollah has recently laid new telephone infrastructure south of the Litani River.

Benedetta Berti, an expert on Lebanon at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, said that Hezbollah’s hyperactivity in recent weeks continued a trend of preparation for conflict with Israel which began after the war of 2006.

She said that maintenance of Hezbollah’s separate communication network has always been a top priority for the organization. In May 2008 Hezbollah almost staged a coup following the government’s intention to shut down its communications system.

On October 6, Hezbollah dispatched an intelligence drone over Israel to photograph sensitive security installations, for the first time since the war of 2006.

“They haven’t done anything like this in a while,” Berti told The Times of Israel. “It seems like they are either planning something or anticipating something will happen.”

No mention of the cameras could be found on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar website on Wednesday.

On October 7, 2000, shortly after Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Hezbollah killed three Israeli soldiers near the Shebaa Farms border region and took their bodies to Lebanon. On July 12, 2006, the movement kidnapped two Israeli reserve soldiers, Udi Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, sparking the Second Lebanon War.

Hezbollah has been subject to increased domestic pressure following reports of its members’ involvement in fighting alongside the Assad regime in Syria and its assumed involvement in the assassination of Lebanese security official Wissam Hassan in Beirut October 19.

An IDF spokesman would not comment on the matter.

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