Hezbollah blames Israel for 'propaganda attack' during Nasrallah's speech
A Lebanese news agency affiliated with the terror group is accusing the breach of Lebanon's telecommunications and the spread of messages calling the Hezbollah leader a 'liar' and a 'murderer' on the 'Israeli-Saudi axis of evil.'
The news agency claimed that citizens received "tens of thousands of calls and messages" to their phone numbers, some of which "appear to come from phones belonging to Hezbollah's media relations," at a time when the head of Hezbollah was giving a eulogy to Mustafa Badreddine, Hezbollah's former head of the military wing, marking the occasion of the first anniversary of his death. Hezbollah claims he was killed by "criminal gangs."
"The Israeli-Saudi alliance is waging a media war against the Lebanese resistance, in desperate attempts to undermine the confidence of the Lebanese and to sow the seeds of discord between the resistance fighters," wrote Al-Akhbar.
The news agency wrote that the calls and messages all carried either a voice or video message that "spread the lie that was launched by Al-Arabiya TV in early March, claiming that Nasrallah ordered the assassination of the martyr Badreddine."
The Lebanese news website Al-Nashra reported that civilians in Lebanon had received a phone call from an unidentified number during Nasrallah's speech, saying: "Our martyr killer is now delivering a speech to you."
The news website claimed that the number in question allegedly belonged to Hezbollah's information department. The Lebanese news website Al-Mulhak posted WhatsApp messages received by Lebanese: "Nasrallah the murderer continues to lie."
It was claimed in Al-Akhbar's article that an "unprecedented campaign was launched in Saudi and Hebrew media outlets repeating the same lie before Israeli officials (including the chief of staff of the Israeli occupation army, Gadi Eisenkot) publically adopted the statements broadcast by Al-Arabiya."
The article continued to claim that Al-Arabiya's statements were "supported by propaganda material in which no Israeli fingerprints were hidden," adding that "Facebook and Twitter also celebrated the hundreds of pages that 'broke' on a daily basis over the past two months (pages being promoted as paid ads) to work on marketing this 'Arab' lie.
"The events of the past weeks, which culminated yesterday in a complex technical breach of Lebanese communications, reveal the existence of a high potential source for such organized propaganda. It is difficult, technically, to reveal the source of this campaign. The Israeli enemy is known for its ability to conduct such campaigns."
The article compared this incident to an older one, saying that it is very reminiscent of "the media security campaigns that Israel carried out against the resistance and the Lebanese during the July 2006 war, when the Lebanese received calls and text messages from foreign numbers to incite the resistance."
Thousands of Lebanese have also received calls from foreign numbers (US, Canadian, Sri Lankan and Thai), all carrying a voice message, as well as video messages via WhatsApp and Viber.
Al-Akhbar pointed to Israel as the immediate suspect, noting that Hezbollah contacted the Lebanon's Ministry of Communications and Ogero (the main telecommunications service provider in Lebanon), opened an investigation find out what had happened, how the breach took place and who was responsible for it.
Hezbollah's media relations have issued a statement denouncing the messages as fake propaganda against them, saying that the matter is under investigation.