Lebanese Kfarkila Rejects UN Cameras as UNIFIL Keeps Inciting Southerners
By Amal Khalil – Al-Akbar Newspaper
The United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon [UNIFIL] was not affected with the popular rejection of the scheme to install high-precision and high-tech surveillance cameras in several strategic sites southern Litani River. The ‘peacekeepers’ continue inciting locals, bringing back to mind the NATO experience to a land that was liberated by blood. However, worse than the internationalists’ continued violations of the privacy of the landowners, preceded with the violating the 1701 resolution, is the official Lebanese silence, and the no-stance on the side of the Lebanese Army!
According to al-Akbar Newspaper, soldiers from the Indonesian unit attempted three days ago to install a tower atop of which a camera was placed on one hill overlooking the border village of Kfarkila, without a prior notice to its municipality. However, as soon as Municipal Hassan Chit learned about it, he tasked the municipal police officers to stop the UNIFIL’s work, demanding that the unit’s leadership get back to them necessarily. Chit sent a clear message to the UNIFIL’s leadership, through its soldiers, that installing any camera is vehemently rejected.
The municipal’s stance was echoed by many other counterparts who were surprised by the UNIFIL’s unilateral move, with the complete absence of the Lebanese Army forces, which, according to the 1701 resolution, are charged with coordinating between the UNIFIL and the local authorities, in addition to escorting their patrols and activities.
Another municipal of a southern Litani village stressed to the newspaper that most municipals “were not notified about installing the cameras, neither from the UNIFIL nor from the Lebanese Army, nor from any other side.”
He said from the repeated news about the issue, he heard of details regarding the scheme that provides installing advanced surveillance and monitoring cameras over towers in 40 strategic sited chosen by the UNIFIL to compensate their disability to enter residential neighborhoods, forests, valleys, farms, and private properties.
The municipal also noted that the scheme “is a violation of the 1701 resolution, is not part of the UNIFIL’s mission, and in case it was ratified, then it needs an official Lebanese decision to modify the mission.” But even if the state agreed on it, the municipal underscored: “We won’t accept it. The cameras violate our privacy and traditions in a liberated area that forced the occupation, its spies, and collaborators outside, and destroyed its sites and bunkers.”
The more dangerous point is that the cameras map “would cover strategic sites outside the UNIFIL’s operating zone as they would overlook areas located northern Litani,” according to a security source.
In the same context, al-Akhbar newspaper reported that preparations were taking place for a meeting on Tuesday between the UNIFIL leaders and Lebanese Army representatives to discuss “finding suitable means to convince the public opinion about the benefits of the cameras, and that they serve the southerners’ interests,” the same source noted.
Respectively, the source emphasized that “Naqoura won’t retreat its US-‘Israeli’-backed scheme under the pretext of obtaining the agreement of Lebanese political and military officials.”