‘Israel spied on embassies in Lebanon,’ says Hezbollah MP

Weeks after Beirut accused Jerusalem of setting up espionage posts along border, parliament invites diplomats to view ‘proof’ of ‘Israeli violations’

Israeli soldiers seen near the border between Israel and Lebanon,  May 1, 2013  (photo credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)
Israeli soldiers seen near the border between Israel and Lebanon, May 1, 2013 (photo credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)

A Hezbollah member of the Lebanese parliament on Thursday accused Israel of tracking the movements of UNIFIL members and international ambassadors in the country, allegedly using a chain of surveillance positions along its border with Lebanon.

At a special meeting hosted by the parliament’s media and telecommunications committee, and which was attended by the ambassadors of 27 countries and UNIFIL representatives, the head of the committee MP Hassan Fadlallah said Thursday that “[an] attack on a sovereign country in this way goes beyond international resolutions and conventions, as it includes an assault on freedoms and privacies [sic],” according to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV.

Fadlallah said the meeting was held in the presence of diplomats so that they could “convey the Israeli violations to their countries,” adding that UNIFIL was briefed because it was allegedly “also subjected to the Israeli espionage operations.”

The committee reportedly presented a report “proving” Israeli espionage activities involving the UN body and various embassies, according to Al-Manar.

“The committee tasked by the cabinet with investigating the Israeli espionage operations briefed the attendees on the matter and displayed a video showing the Israeli violations,” Fadlallah told reporters following the meeting.

The US ambassador to Lebanon, David Hale, did not make an appearance at the meeting to which Fadlallah responded: “The US ambassador doesn’t have to attend as he knows everything going on due to his country’s relations with Israel.” Fadlallah made the comment to Naharnet, a Lebanese news website.

Earlier this month, the speaker of the Lebanese parliament called for his country to lodge an official complaint with the United Nations after accusing Israel of setting up a chain of surveillance positions.

“Israel installed and is still installing spying stations along the border with Lebanon, starting from Naqoura passing by Khiam and all the way to Shebaa,” Speaker Nabih Berri said a weekly meeting with members of parliament, the Daily Star Lebanon reported on November 6, citing the National News Agency.

Berri claimed that the listening stations were linked to centers on the Golan Heights and Shebaa farms area, and that information was beamed from there to Tel Aviv. According to Berri, who showed parliamentarians photographs and documents that he said supported his claims, the spy stations had equipment enabling them to monitor the whole of Lebanon.

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Israel has been accused in the past of planting listening devices in Lebanon. In May, Syrian officials claimed they uncovered Israeli devices capable of wiretapping, photographing, recording and broadcasting data.

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