The Gaza-based radio station Al-Aqsa radio, run by Hamas (acknowledged as a terror group by Israel, Canada, the US and the EU), has started sending signals into Israel, the Times of Israel reports, citing an Israeli satellite imagery company. This has become possible due to a new tower, set up in a Lebanese village close to the country’s border with Israel. According to the outlet, Iranian-backed Hezbollah assisted its installment.
The outlet cites the CEO of Sat View Nissan Cohen as saying that the new tower’s radio signal is “very, very powerful”, reaching listeners in Tel Aviv and disrupting local broadcasters.
“Three media outlets turned to us and said there was something disrupting [their broadcasts] on frequency 101.6 [FM]. So we went to check. We followed [the broadcasts] north, got to the Lebanese border and realised it’s coming from there”, Cohen told the Army Radio.
Interestingly enough, the signal’s power source is reportedly located close to a site where the Israel Defense Forces have been trying to eliminate secret tunnels, believed to have been dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon to Israel.
The news about the Hamas-supported radio station comes hot on the heels of an Israeli announcement that Operation Northern Shield, launched to thwart possible attacks against the country by demolishing these secret passages, is ending. IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis stated that they had discovered a sixth and largest tunnel, also reported to be the last one, crossing into the country and are now working on its destruction.
Lebanese-Israeli relations have been poor for decades, but tensions have escalated in recent years as Israel has accused Hezbollah of being used by Iran to wage a proxy war on Israel. The last lengthy conflict between them happened in 2006, with Israeli forces invading Lebanon after Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid. It lasted over a month, claimed the lives of over 1,300 people and was halted by a UN-brokered ceasefire.