Israeli intelligence officials working behind the scenes to incriminate Hezbollah; group blacklisted in 13 countries in past year and a half.
Israel has been waging an intensive diplomatic war on Hezbollah to blacklist the group in more countries. Much of this work is carried out behind the scenes, with the intelligence community playing a key role.
As part of this effort, Israeli intelligence officials have been traveling overseas to present foreign governments with incriminating information. The sensitive materials include details about Hezbollah activities abroad, Yediot Aharonot daily reported.
Jerusalem is also demanding clear action in exchange for Israel’s assistance in key areas. Countries that are interested in advanced technologies or cyber expertise are asked to support Israel in UN votes or designate Hezbollah as a terror organization, a high-ranking diplomat said.
The Israeli campaign is producing results, with 13 countries blacklisting Hezbollah in the past year and a half. The pace has increased this year, and the issue is one of Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi’s top priorities, the report said.
Exposing Hezbollah crimes
Separately, Israel is exerting behind-the-scenes pressure to weaken Hezbollah’s hold on Lebanon’s political system, and to curb its precision-missile program. Jerusalem previously conveyed stern messages to the US and other countries, warning them about the potential consequences of the group’s actions.
More openly, Israel’s Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy has been working to boost awareness of Hezbollah’s malicious activities in Europe. The research center cooperates with counter-terror and other experts to gather information about the group’s criminal activities, including drug smuggling.
The ongoing project aims to present key influencers and decision-makers with this information to encourage steps against Hezbollah. The institute also produced a short video titled Hezbollah – A Global Threat, viewed more than a million times on YouTube (see above).
Meanwhile, Israel closely monitors Hezbollah on the military front as well. The Air Force intensified its flights in Lebanese airspace recently, raising fears in Lebanon that the IDF and US military are planning to strike the group’s leaders or strongholds.