Geostrategy-Direct, www.geostrategy-direct.com, November 8, 2006
NICOSIA – The Lebanese government has approved a surveillance plan for
Hizbullah-dominated areas of Beirut.
The Lebanese Cabinet has agreed to install surveillance cameras throughout
Beirut in a $12-million program. The Cabinet ordered the cameras to be
attached to telephone lines and placed in Hizbullah-dominated neighborhoods
of southern Beirut.
“It agreed unanimously to use all necessary means to control the security
situation in Lebanon,” Lebanese Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said.
Aridi said the cameras would monitor numerous areas throughout the Lebanese
capital in the first step towards a comprehensive security program.
But the minister stressed that the southern suburbs of Beirut would not
receive cameras until a much later stage. He said damaged neighborhoods
would first require reconstruction following the war with Israel, which
ended on Aug. 14. During the 34-day war, Israel targeted Hizbullah
headquarters and suspected weapons arsenals in southern Beirut.
Thousands of cameras would be installed throughout Beirut and linked to a
command and control center. They center would be manned by representatives
of the army and police to facilitate rapid response to emergencies.
Hizbullah ministers oppose the installation of the security cameras in
southern Beirut. They said the reconnaissance system, linked to a satellite,
could be subject to Israeli intrusion.
“Linking cameras to satellites could allow Israel to violate our security,”
said Energy Minister Mohammad Fneish, a Hizbullah member.
In the first stage, officials said, data from the sensors would be relayed
over telephone lines. Police stations throughout Beirut would be linked to
the system with a central C2 center established in the Helou police barracks
in Corniche Al Mazraa.
Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said Lebanon would introduce other security
measures in the greater Beirut area. Fatfat said the campaign would include
army and police reinforcements.
“This will continue until mid-January,” Fatfat said.