Report: Israel in State of Alert over Fears of Lebanon Water Diversion

Posted on: July 09, 2012 at 00:24
Israel is mulling responses to the possibility that Lebanon will divert water from the Hasbani river under the guise of the construction of a tourism center near the border with the Jewish state, the Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.

A senior Israeli army officer in the Northern Command told the newspaper that the center could be used to divert water from the river, which supplies 25 percent of the Jordan river’s waters.

Israel is concerned about the site’s proximity to the border, which lies not far from the Israeli town of Metulla.

“We are keeping a close eye on what is happening there,” the officer said. “Our concerns range from the diversion of water to the possibility that the tourism center will be used as cover to launch attacks against Israel.”

The Hasbani runs for 40 kilometers in Lebanon before crossing the border and joining the Banias and Dan rivers at a point in northern Israel and later form the Jordan river.

The Jerusalem Post said Israel has shared its concern with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and plans to raise the issue during one of the upcoming tripartite meetings held in Naqoura.

“This could become a strategic problem,” another officer said.
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