Surveillance wars: Israel targets Lebanon border protest with tear-gas

Surveillance wars: Israel targets Lebanon border protest with tear-gas
2 min read
26 February, 2017
Dozens of Lebanese protesters were tear gassed at the Lebanese-Israel border on Saturday after gathering to voice objections at the installation of alleged Israeli surveillance equipment.
Israeli security forces on the southern Lebanese border look north [Getty]

The Israeli army dispersed dozens of Lebanese protesters with tear gas at the border between the two countries on Saturday.

A crowd had gathered at the border near the south Lebanese village of Mays al-Jabal, to protest the installation of alleged Israeli surveillance equipment.

"Upon the group crossing of the international border, IDF forces fired dispersal means in order to disperse the gathering and prevent further infiltration into Israeli territory," said an Israeli military spokesperson.

Reports in Lebanese media suggest the protesters did not cross the border, and that several people suffered 'suffocations' as a result of the tear gas.

The protest was a response to the apparent installation of spying equipment near the village. Photographs of the devices - alleged to be a camera, a solar panel and eavesdropping technology - were widely circulated in Lebanese media and on Twitter.

Lebanon and Israel are officially at war, and around 1,000 UN peacekeepers are deployed in the country's south.

Israel considers Lebanon's Hezbollah group an abiding threat, despite the UN resolution that ended the 2006 conflict and forced Hezbollah fighters near the Israeli border to disarm.

"Across the border, Hezbollah is developing its capabilities and acquiring advanced weapons," said Israeli General Gadi Eizenkot, on an Israeli military website.

Israel has recently attacked Hezbollah targets in Syria, where the group has sent thousands of fighters to back the Assad regime.