Over the past 15 years, 22,111 Israeli military aircraft have violated Lebanese airspace, a report has found.
According to the site, Air Pressure, 8,231 fighter jets and 13,102 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have conducted incursions into Lebanon’s skies since 2007. With the average time in the airspace lasting 4 hours and 35 minutes, the combined duration of all of those flights amounts to 3,098 days, or eight and a half years’ worth of airspace violations.
The site managed to collect and report the data after sourcing it from 243 letters uploaded to the UN’s digital library between the years 2006 to 2021, which contained all the radar information such as the time, duration, type and trajectory of each aircraft violation.Those letters were written by Lebanon’s permanent representative to the UN and were addressed to the UN Security Council (UNSC), and the site’s team were only able to compile all of the necessary data into a report after manually analysing and transcribing each of them individually.
“The UN Security Council, and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon have been monitoring and recording these violations, and have had clear access and capacity to do this work themselves. Instead, by storing the data in a piecemeal and uncoordinated fashion, these institutions have obfuscated the scale of these crimes”, Air Pressure stated.
According to the report, the primary reason for the airspace violations – especially by the UAVs – was that of “mass indiscriminate surveillance”, in which the Lebanese population’s phone calls and text messages are accessed, and their movements and homes are photographed.
Aside from the “violation of a population’s privacy by a foreign nation”, the Israeli activity in the skies over Lebanon reportedly has the dangerous effect of harming people’s physical and psychological well-being due to the constant air pressure and noise from above.
The incursions by fighter jets, especially, has the effect of breaking the sound barrier and causing sonic booms over the Lebanese population, which has often shattered windows. Sonic booms are also shown to have long-term impacts on human behaviour and states of relaxation, creating fear and disturbing sleep and rest patterns.
Air Pressure‘s findings also revealed that the highest amount of Israeli fighter jets to enter Lebanese airspace in a single day was 56, on 26 July 2010. As for UAV violations, the highest amount in a single day was 92, on 2 July 2008.