Italian U.N. peacekeeper soldiers inspect a small bridge that was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike, in Maaliya village, Lebanon, on April 7, 2023. Image Credit: Mohamad Zaatari / AP

South Citizens Turn Off Cameras in Light of Israeli Hacking Attempts

In a recent statement shared on X, the Islamic Resistance Military Media (more popularly known as Hezbollah’s media office) warned south Lebanon residents of attempts by Israeli forces to hack into cameras and spy on Hezbollah military positions.

Cameras for domestic use are often connected to the internet and are usually placed in front of citizens’ houses, stores and various villages. After destroying much of Israel’s spy equipment stationed along the border with occupied Palestine, the Islamic Resistance Military Media asked the residents of these areas to disconnect their private cameras in order to “blind the enemy more than what the resistance and its jihadists” are doing.

Since October 7, the Islamic Resistance has been targeting Israeli cameras and equipment in border areas throughout the recent period, which has cost the Israeli forces a lot of observatory capacity.

A History of Espionage

Israeli forces and the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, otherwise known as the Mossad, have a long history of spying on nearby Arab countries, especially Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.

As recently as December 2022, Lebanese security services arrested 185 people suspected of collaborating with Israel since Lebanon’s economic collapse, a number greatly surpassing the yearly average of four or five arrests according to an article by the National News.

Many had attributed such a rise in the number of spies collaborating with Israel to the economic crisis in Lebanon, where inflation and poverty levels have dramatically risen during the last four years.

Previously, Hamas sources have informed The Cradle that the group is under surveillance by Israel’s Lebanese spy network and that its leaders and members are monitored, in addition to previous assassination attempts of Hamas officials.

A few decades earlier, the South Lebanon Army (SLA), known as Jaysh Lohod among Lebanese residents, had collaborated with the Israeli army during its invasion of Lebanon and during the civil war and post-civil war periods.

In 2019, the Lebanese military court acquitted Amer “the Butcher” Fakhoury under pressure from Washington. Fakhoury was detained after being accused of overseeing the torture of Lebanese civilians at Al-Khiam prison as part of his role in the SLA.

Till this day, both official security mechanisms and informal awareness of spy presence and espionage permeate Lebanese areas. The current crisis and the recent events in the south have significantly increased such concerns for the Lebanese population.