A new website compiling data on Israeli aerial incursions over Lebanon claims the Israeli Air Force penetrated its neighbor’s airspace at least 22,000 times in the past 15 years, for a total overflight time of 8.5 years.
The site, by a Lebanese artist, characterizes the ubiquity of Israeli warplanes, drones and spy planes over his country’s skies as “one extended crime” and asserts it has had a deep psychological effect on Lebanon’s residents.
Israel carries out regular sorties over Lebanon it says are necessary to counter Iran and Hezbollah’s extensive efforts to establish a major threat to the Jewish state on its northern border, and often targets weapons caches and convoys tied to the Lebanese terror organization.
Website creator Lawrence Abu Hamdan writes: “The disturbing roar of fighter jets tearing up the coastline and the persistent buzz of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles circling the southern regions have become a familiar part of the Lebanese soundscape.”
He told The Guardian: “This 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 any longer. Why should a population live under mass indiscriminate surveillance and live under a hostile sky… to the extent that it’s embodied into everyday life.”
Citing various studies made on the detrimental effects of aircraft noise on people’s health (including hypertension and diminished blood circulation), Abu Hamdan suggested Lebanese could well be suffering from such problems — though he did not provide any actual data on the local populace.