A new website compiling data on Israeli aerial incursions over Lebanon claims that the Israeli Air Force has penetrated its neighbor’s airspace at least 22,000 times in the past 15 years, for a total flyover time of 8.5 years.
The site, by a Lebanese artist, characterizes the ubiquity of Israeli fighter jets, drones and spy planes in the skies of his country as “an extended crime” and claims that it has had a profound psychological effect on the residents of Lebanon.
Israel conducts regular sorties over Lebanon it deems necessary to counter extensive efforts by Iran and Hezbollah to establish a major threat to the Jewish state on its northern border, and often targets weapons caches and convoys linked to the Lebanese terrorist organization.
The website’s creator, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, writes: “The eerie roar of fighter jets tearing up the coastline and the persistent hum of unmanned aerial vehicles circling the southern regions have become a familiar part of the Lebanese soundscape.
He told the Guardian: “It should be seen as an atmosphere of violence. It takes its toll over time, and that’s why it has the potential to be ignored, but it shouldn’t be ignored anymore. Why should a population live under indiscriminate mass surveillance and live under hostile skies…as it is embodied in everyday life.
Citing various studies carried out on the adverse effects of aircraft noise on people’s health (including high blood pressure and reduced blood circulation), Abu Hamdan suggested that the Lebanese may well suffer from such problems – although he did not provide any real data on the local population.