A former commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) has revealed Israel’s attempts to spy on the international troops.
Israeli espionage is not only limited to the Lebanese, former UNIFIL commander Alain Pellegrini told al-Manar TV station on Friday.
Pellegrini said Israeli agents had access to all the reports and information submitted by the UNIFIL forces to the United Nations, adding that he does not know the exact mechanism allowing this infiltration.
“The information goes to the Israelis either by tapping or at the time it reaches the United Nations in New York,” Pelligrini said.
"Every time I send my semi-annual report to the UNIFIL, attached by details for the leadership of United Nations forces alone, and despite the fact that the report is encrypted, I immediately receive after each report to New York, a letter from the Israeli Army, containing suggestions for writing the report, hoping to amend it!"
In an earlier interview with the Lebanese daily As-Safir, Pellgrini had revealed repeated attempts by Washington to avert UNIFIL in line with its own policy.
"I was offered to join American officers in the event of launching joint operations," he said in a reference to events around the July-August 2006 war Israel waged against Lebanon.
"The US had deployed (off the coast of Lebanon) the 24th Marine Intervention Unit, which has the capability to intervene in my operational area and would be ready to provide me with reinforcements in case of launching any operation."
The Lebanese opposition’s distrust and doubts regarding a UN-backed tribunal into the murder of the country’s ex-premier Rafiq Hariri has been growing as evidence such as Pelligrini’s confessions and those earlier disclosed by Hezbollah on Israel’s espionage on late Hariri continue to be ignored.
Hariri was assassinated on February 14, 2005, when a massive bomb explosion targeted his car in Beirut.
Pro-Western Lebanese factions blamed the killing on Syria and the country’s Islamic resistance movement of Hezbollah — allegations incumbent Prime Minister Saad Hariri withdrew in September as publically motivated.