Hezbollah has established an observation post near the Lebanese border with Israel under the cover of the Green Without Borders environmental organization, the IDF's Arabic-language spokesperson Avichay Adraee tweeted on Wednesday.
Members of Hezbollah operate at the site while disguised as activists from Green Without Borders, according to Adraee. The IDF spokesperson shared photos of a number of Hezbollah operatives at the site, saying that the observation post violated UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
The commander of the IDF's Northern Command, Amir Baram, stated on Tuesday that "recently, the construction of Hezbollah's frontal positions along the border has intensified. We know them by their names and where they're coming from."
"When the day comes they will pay the price."Amir Baram, Commander of the IDFs Northern Command
Baram warned: "When the day comes they will pay the price, they and those sending and also the front villages that serve as a military terrorism base for them. We will destroy all the infrastructure along the line of contact."
"The IDF and security forces will continue to act as needed to maintain security in the area and to counter any attempt to violate Israel's sovereignty," said Adraee on Wednesday.
Not the first time Hezbollah has been caught using Green Without Borders
The IDF has accused Green Without Borders of serving as a cover for Hezbollah in the past.
In 2017, then head of the IDF's Intelligence Directorate, Herzi Halevi, stated that Hezbollah had established outposts marked with the logo of Green Without Borders along the border. According to the IDF, the organization is partially funded by Hezbollah.
Shortly after the IDF made the claim in 2017, the UN rejected the report, saying that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) had observed Green Without Borders planting trees over a period of two years, as is their stated objective. "UNIFIL has not observed any unauthorized armed persons at the location or found any basis to report a violation of the resolution," said UN Associate Spokesperson Eri Kaneko at the time.
In September 2019, Hezbollah fired several anti-tank missiles toward an IDF base and military vehicles near Avivim. A technical investigation by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) found that the anti-tank missiles had been launched from an area controlled by the Green Without Borders organization.
While UNIFIL requested that the Lebanese Armed Forces facilitate access to the relevant Green Without Borders sites in September 2019 and the Lebanese military confirmed that it would do so, UNIFIL was only granted partial access to the sites and denied the use of necessary technical equipment.
In August 2017, Green Without Borders head Zouheir Nahle told The Daily Star that the trees the organization plants are "the shade of the resistance" and a "veil on the eyes of the enemy." Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah stated in 2010 that planting trees was helpful to Hezbollah as operatives could use the trees to hide.
A report by the Washington Institute think-tank featured a map showing the locations of 16 Green Without Borders positions along the entire Lebanese-Israeli border.