Terrorists now use environmental group as cover


‘Green Without Border’ may sound as an environmental group working for protection of environment. But in reality, it is one of the front-organizations of Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist entity Hezbollah, which is engaged in gathering intelligence information of Christians, Jews, non-Muslims and Sunni Muslims as per directives of Hezbollah jihadists.

According to US and Israeli government sources, the Hezbollah-linked NGO, Green Without Borders, “has been setting up outposts for the militant group along the border with Israel”, the Associated Press reported on January 25, 2023. The Hezbollah-linked “environmental group” has been terrorizing Lebanese Christians living in the border region and forcefully taking over their farmland, the news report suggests.

Hezbollah was created by Iran’s Shia Islamic regime in early 1980s as a proxy Lebanese terrorist militia to wage jihad warfare against neighboring Israel. The terrorist outfit, headed by 62-year-old Muslim cleric Hassan Nasrallah, runs its own private army and acts as a state within a state in Lebanon.

Hezbollah uses Lebanese territory to stage terrorist attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians. The terrorist group treats Lebanese civilians as human shields, and stores weapons and ammunitions in residential neighborhoods and schools. In the past, Hezbollah has dug cross-border tunnels — running from Lebanon into Israel — with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks.

The Associated Press in its report said:

On the outskirts of this southern Lebanese village, workers in a pickup truck parked at a nature reserve named after a fallen fighter of the militant Hezbollah group. They took two large eucalyptus tree seedlings out of the truck and planted them.

The men are from Green Without Borders, a non-governmental organization that says it aims to protect Lebanon’s green areas and plant trees.

But Israel, the United States and some in Lebanon accuse the NGO of being an arm of Hezbollah to hide its military activities. They say the organization has been setting up outposts for the militant group along the border with Israel. Last month, residents in the southern Christian village of Rmaych near the border said they encountered armed men at an outpost of the organization that was blocking them from farmlands.

Green Without Borders denies any link to Hezbollah, which also says it is not connected to the environmental group.

“We are not an arm for anyone”, the head of Green Without Borders, Zouher Nahli, told The Associated Press. “We as an environmental association work for all the people and we are not politicized”. He spoke at the Bassam Tabaja Nature Reserve, named for a Hezbollah fighter killed in Syria in 2014, where the NGO has planted hundreds of trees.

He said the organization’s funding comes from the ministries of environment and agriculture as well as from wealthy Lebanese who care about the environment and municipalities, mainly in the eastern Bekaa Valley and southern Lebanon. He said he is an Agriculture Ministry employee.

Since it began operations in 2009, the group has helped plant about 2 million trees, Nahli said.

Israel and Hezbollah are archenemies and have fought several wars over the past decades, the last of which ended in August 2006. The 34-day conflict killed 1,200 in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

The U.N. Security Council resolution that ended that war said the border area should be free of “any armed personnel, assets and weapons,” other than those of the government and U.N. peacekeepers. After the war, thousands of Lebanese troops were deployed in the border zone and the U.N. peacekeeping force, known as UNIFIL, which has been present there since 1978, was beefed up.

In a November report, UNIFIL said shipping containers and prefabricated buildings, some of them with visible Green Without Borders markings, had been set up at 16 sites along the border. In several instances, UNIFIL patrols were prevented from nearing the locations, it said.

The Israeli military says Green Without Borders outposts on the border are used by Hezbollah to gather intelligence information.

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