A resident of southern Lebanon appears to have taken seriously a recent jocular call by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah to plant trees in the area “as part of the resistance” against Israel, after he uploaded photos of himself and his friend planting trees just steps from the Israeli-Lebanese border, near the village of Adaisseh.
The symbolic act came following a speech by Nasrallah almost two weeks ago, in which he ridiculed Israel for being “afraid of trees” after it complained to the UN that Hezbollah is using an environmental organization that plants trees near the border as a ruse for for collecting intelligence.
"Planting a tree on the border between Lebanon and Palestine in plain view of the enemy. Under your direction, lord of the million trees," wrote the user, identified as Ali Nazer.
In the photos Nazer uploaded, the pair can be seen seemingly planting a tree with IDF soldiers visible on the other side of the border. In another photo, one of the two men holds up a printed piece of paper with Hebrew writing saying, "We're free, wishing to plant trees on the border" and Arabic writing saying, "The most beautiful tree on the border for your eyes, Hassan Nasrallah."
In his speech, Nasrallah mocked Israel, saying "Israel is turning to the UN over the fact Lebanon is planting trees on the border," Nasrallah said. "Israel is afraid of the tree on our border, because it thinks this tree is guarding the country and the people. Israel thinks the tree will protect the people who will fight against it when it attacks.
"I tell the residents of the south in Baalbek, in Hermel are other places: Plant trees. It's part of the resistance, part of the defense of Lebanon," he added.
Two months ago, Israel presented the UN's Security Council with intelligence saying Hezbollah has deployed a network of observation posts along the Lebanese border using the façade of a green organization. According to the information, in the preceding months Hezbollah created the array of posts using an organization funded and operated by Hezbollah itself, called "Green Without Borders".
This organization supposedly acts to promote agriculture and environmentalism, building agricultural farms and collecting ecological information. Its stated goal is to expand Lebanon's green zones and raise awareness for environmental protection.