Hackers Warn Hezbollah on Beirut Airport Screens

Message warns of consequences if Lebanon ends up in war with Israel
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 7, 2024 2:00 PM CST
Hackers Warn Hezbollah on Beirut Airport Screens
Planes are grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic at the Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut in March 2020.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Information display screens at Beirut's international airport were hacked by domestic anti-Hezbollah groups Sunday, as clashes between the Lebanese militant group and the Israeli military continue to intensify along the border. Departure and arrival information was replaced by a message accusing the Hezbollah group of putting Lebanon at risk of an all-out war with Israel, the AP reports. The screens displayed a message with logos from a hardline Christian group dubbed Soldiers of God, which has garnered attention over the past year for its campaigns against the LGBTQ+ community in Lebanon, and a little-known group that calls itself The One Who Spoke. In a video statement, the Christian group denied involvement, while the other group shared photos of the screens on its social media channels.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said the hack briefly disrupted baggage inspection. Passengers gathered around the screens, taking pictures and sharing them on social media. "Hassan Nasrallah, you will no longer have supporters if you curse Lebanon with a war for which you will bear responsibility and consequences," the message read, echoing similar sentiments to critics over the years who have accused Hezbollah of smuggling weapons and munitions through the tiny Mediterranean country's only civilian airport. Hezbollah has been striking Israeli military bases and positions near the country's northern border with Lebanon since Oct. 8, the day after the Hamas-Israel war in Gaza began. Israel has been striking Hezbollah positions in return.

The near-daily clashes have intensified sharply over the past week, after an apparent Israeli strike in a southern Beirut suburb killed top Hamas official and commander Saleh Arouri. On Saturday, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah in a speech vowed that the group would retaliate, per the AP. He dismissed criticisms that the group is looking for a full-scale war with Israel but said if Israel launches one, Hezbollah is ready for a war "without limits." Hezbollah announced an "initial response" to Arouri's killing on Saturday, launching a volley of 62 rockets toward an Israeli air surveillance base on Mount Meron. The Lebanese government and international community have been scrambling to prevent a war in Lebanon, which they fear would spark a regional spillover.

(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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