Israel has so far declined to comment on reports from Lebanonabout espionage equipment discovered there, but on Thursday evening the Lebanese army released incriminating photos of the equipment which include Hebrew writing.
According to the Lebanese army, the spying gear was planted in the mountains and enabled observation of extensive areas. The gear also includes a production tag from Israel.
Local media reported that Lebanese Foreign Ministry officials were working on a complaint to the United Nations Security Council against Israel after uncovering the "two spy devices" on mountains near Beirut.
Lebanon also plans to complain about the supersonic explosions heard in the south of the country, which were allegedly caused by Israel Air Force sorties in the area on Wednesday evening. According to Lebanon, "This is a blatant violation of Resolution 1701."
The army said the equipment was discovered on Mount el-Barouk at a height of 1,715 meters, and is comprised of two artificial boulders. One boulder contained gear for transmitting and receiving signals, which covered most of Lebanon's western and central valleys up to the Syrian border as well as many villages in the south up to the border with Israel.
According to the reports, the equipment is Israeli-made and is capable of securing communication between the wireless stations scattered throughout Lebanon and various points in Israeli territory.
The Israeli production tag (Photo: AFP)
The other boulder contained a large stash of batteries which would have provided power for the equipment for a number of years. The Lebanese army reiterated its warning to residents not to touch "suspicious objects."
The espionage installations were found on the mountain range overlooking the capital Beirut, the reports say. The search for the gear was triggered by information received from Hezbollah – the organization likely to be implicated in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
A security source in Lebanon said Thursday night that the "espionage device" allegedly planted by Israel was found "not long ago" and dismantled "before the recent storm." However, he said the reports were postponed for security reasons.
The Lebanese army said eight Israeli aircraft had infiltrated the country's airspace during the day.
Just a short time after the announcement on the discovery of the installation, Lebanese media reported on a loud explosion off the coast of Sidon. The explosion remains a mystery, and various explanations have been mooted in Lebanon. According to the radio station Voice of Lebanon, the explosion was caused by the Israeli air force which was destroying an Israeli spying installation at sea, but no further details were offered.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad el-Hariri accused the IAF of creating panic on both sides of the border and condemned the alleged infiltration of Israeli aircraft into his country's airspace, saying it "stirred panic among the residents of Sidon and south Lebanon."