Hezbollah tactics and strategies against Israeli surveillance.

Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group, has been employing a mix of low-tech and high-tech strategies to evade Israeli surveillance and counter its military operations. This comes in response to the targeted killings of its senior commanders by Israeli airstrikes.

Low-Tech Countermeasures:

  • Coded Messages: To avoid detection, Hezbollah has reverted to using pagers, couriers, and a private fixed-line telecommunications network from the early 2000s for communication. Code words for weapons and meeting sites are updated almost daily and delivered in person.
  • Landline Phones and Pagers: Cell phones, which can be tracked, have been banned from the battlefield. Fighters now use more traditional means of communication.
  • Physical Couriers: Verbal messages are delivered by couriers to prevent electronic eavesdropping.
  • Security Cameras: Hezbollah has directed residents in southern Lebanon to disconnect security cameras from the internet to avoid video feed monitoring.
  • Avoiding Phones: Fighters and even senior politicians avoid carrying mobile phones during operations or meetings to reduce the risk of being tracked.

High-Tech Strategies:

  • Drones: Hezbollah has used drones to gather intelligence and attack Israeli surveillance installations. They have claimed to capture footage over Israeli cities and military sites and have reportedly shot down several Israeli drones.
  • Private Telecom Network: Hezbollah has reinforced its private network, allegedly financed by Iran, by breaking it into smaller networks to limit the impact of potential breaches.

Impact of the Conflict:

  • Casualties and Displacement: The ongoing conflict has led to significant casualties and displacement on both sides of the Lebanon-Israel border. Israeli strikes have killed over 330 Hezbollah fighters and around 90 civilians in Lebanon, while attacks from Lebanon have killed 21 Israeli soldiers and 10 civilians.
  • Operational Adjustments: Hezbollah has been adapting its tactics in response to losses, banning mobile phones on the battlefield and performing surprise checks to ensure compliance.

Public Warnings and Adaptations:

  • Public Advisories: Hezbollah has warned its supporters not to trust unsolicited calls from individuals claiming to be local officials or aid workers, suspecting Israeli impersonation.
  • Operational Security: Measures such as breaking, burying, or securing phones in iron boxes have been advised to prevent tracking.

Despite these efforts, Israel maintains a technological advantage, utilizing advanced electronic surveillance and hacking capabilities. The conflict remains tense, with both sides continuing to adapt and escalate their tactics.