Lebanese Army claims it found Israeli spying device

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Artificial rock containing camera, four batteries found in town near border; device said to date from before Israel’s withdrawal in 2001

Soldiers from the Lebanese Armed Forces claimed Wednesday to have found a rock concealing an Israeli spying device in the south of the country.

The army said it found the device in the town of Bani Hayyan, around four kilometers from the border with Israel.

According to a report in al-Manar, a Hezbollah-affiliated website, the device included a camera and four batteries.

In a short video clip released by the Lebanese Army, a shiny surface appearing to be the lens of a camera can be seen through an opening in what appears to be an artificial rock made out of fiberglass.

Thick cables can be seen exiting the artificial rock and running on the surrounding rubble.

An Israeli military spokesperson said the Israel Defense Forces “does not respond to reports of this kind.”

According to al-Manar, the device was found in an area that “used to host an Israeli post during [Israel’s] occupation of Lebanon.”

Israel withdrew from the so-called South Lebanon Security Belt — a strip of land several kilometers wide along the Lebanese-Israeli border on Lebanon’s side — in a hastily organized operation in May 2000, after maintaining a presence there since the First Lebanon War in 1982.

If correct, the listening device would likely be too old to still be functioning.

Lebanese officials have claimed to find Israeli listening devices hidden in rocks in Lebanon before, including two devices reportedly uncovered on a mountain near Beirut in 2010.

In 2014, Hezbollah claimed an Israeli army drone blew up a spying device after it was uncovered near Tyre. One person was killed in that incident, according to Lebanese reports.

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