Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed a seizure order against a Lebanon-based company after it allegedly provided Hezbollah with equipment for the group’s precision-guided missile project.
The directive against the company, Shreif Sanitary Co. and its owner Haytham Ahmad Muhammad Shrief, was given “within the framework of a wide range of activities conducted against Hezbollah’s precision-guided missile project,” the ministry said in a statement.
The seizure order was signed following joint work of the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate and the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing in the Defense Ministry.
According to the ministry, the company is registered in Lebanon and regularly conducts commercial activity with Hezbollah as well as provides the Lebanese terror group with equipment for use in projects related to the production of precision munitions.
“The company is a preferred supplier of Hezbollah, is fully aware of the organization’s work, and supplies Hezbollah with equipment at a reduced price,” read the statement which quoted intelligence gathered by Israel’s defense establishment.
The group, which has been working on the expensive and classified project since 2013, has been attempting to build factories to produce precision missiles in South Lebanon, Beirut and the Bekaa under the guidance of senior officers from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Hezbollah has over 130,000 rockets and missiles of all sorts of ranges and payloads, and while the group has been working on this project since 2013, it has only several dozen precision missiles.
The terror group first tried to bring in ready-to-use precision missiles from Iran to Lebanon overland via Syria in 2013. But when the majority of those attempts were thwarted by alleged Israeli airstrikes, Hezbollah decided in 2016 to take “dumb” missiles from Syria and upgrade them to precision missiles.
But continued airstrikes forced the group to move its project to Lebanon, where Israel rarely acts because, while members of Israel’s security cabinet have pushed for preemptive strikes against Hezbollah in Lebanon, the IDF is against such actions.
Nevertheless, despite significant investments of time, resources and money, Hezbollah has been unable to build operational factories to produce precision missiles for use against the Jewish state.
Gantz’s seizure order of $17,000 that was transferred from Hezbollah to the company and owner “will enable the introduction of the company into international financial ‘black lists’ and will greatly hinder its activity,” the ministry said.
The order will remain in effect until August 1, 2023.
“This order is an integral part of the campaign conducted against the Lebanese project. It is a clear and sharp message to every commercial entity that assistance provided to and business done with terror organizations are unacceptable and will negatively affect their ability to operate within the international financial system,” the defense ministry said.