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June 22, 2017 2:36 pm

IDF Intelligence Exposes Environmentalist NGO in Southern Lebanon as Hezbollah Front

avatar by Ben Cohen

UNIFIL peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. Photo: UN.

The activities of a Lebanese environmentalist group reported to be a front for Hezbollah were brought to the Security Council ‘s attention on Thursday, as Israel’s UN ambassador charged that the Shiite Islamist organization was using the NGO as cover to conduct reconnaissance activities along the “Blue Line” — the border with Israel drawn by the UN following the IDF’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.

In a letter to the Security Council, Danon disclosed recent intelligence gathered by the IDF showing that Hezbollah operatives were located in a series of outposts marked with the logo of “Green Without Borders” — a local environmentalist NGO whose ostensible mission is to plant trees in the locale.

In April, UNIFIL — the UN peacekeeping force in the area — was prevented from approaching a post marked with the NGO’s flag by a group of Lebanese locals.

“The well-documented proof of Hezbollah’s dangerous provocation verifies that Hezbollah conducts reconnaissance activity near the Blue Line and disguises it as civilian activity, in clear violation of UNSC resolutions 1701 and 1559,” Danon wrote.

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Both of those resolutions require the disarming of Hezbollah and forbid the presence on the Lebanese side of the Blue Line of “any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon.”

“The international community cannot continue to turn a blind eye to Hezbollah’s flagrant violations of UNSC resolutions,” Danon said.

Hezbollah’s appropriation of environmentalism to further its goals first became noticeable in 2010, when the organization’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, told Reuters that forestation was “part of Lebanese national security.”

“Planting trees was also a way of resisting Israel, the Hezbollah leader said, noting that they could give cover to guerrillas,” the Reuters article noted.

In 2014, the Lebanese agriculture minister – a member of an interim government that included ministers from Hezbollah — launched his “Tree for Every Citizen” project at a ceremony in Nabatieh, close to the Israeli border, through the Green Without Borders NGO. Among those in attendance were Hezbollah parliamentarians Mohammad Raad and Hassan Fadlallah.

Danon concluded his letter by calling on the Security Council to demand that the government of Lebanon dismantle these observation posts immediately.

Currently, Hezbollah has approximately 150,000 missiles pointed towards Israel — ten times the number it had in 2006, when it last launched a war against the Jewish state. A proxy of Iran, Hezbollah is also engaged in propping up the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Watch an IDF video of Hezbollah activities along the Israel-Lebanon border:

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