Beirut airport's screens hacked with anti-Hezbollah message

Screens at Rafic Hariri International Airport warned Hezbollah against dragging Lebanon into war

Nasrallah speaks for second time in a week following Israeli strike in Beirut

Nasrallah speaks for second time in a week following Israeli strike in Beirut
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Beirut airport's departure screens appeared to be hacked on Sunday night with messages that warned Hezbollah against dragging Lebanon into a war with Israel.

Images shared online showed passengers watching a screen in the departure lounge at Rafic Hariri International Airport that would normally display flight information.

Instead, it displayed a message that said the airport was not the airport of Hezbollah and Iran, while urging the Lebanese armed group and its Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah not to pull Lebanon into war.

"You're going to blow up our airport by bringing in weapons. Let the airport be freed from the grip of the (Hezbollah) statelet," the airport message said.

At the top right of the message was the symbol of Jnoud El Rabb or 'Soldiers of God,' a radical Christian group active in Beirut. It has previously attacked LGBTQI people and events, and railed against Hezbollah, abortion and refugees.

However, the group issued a video statement saying they were not behind the message.

Iran-backed Hezbollah is widely believed to wield significant control over Lebanon's only international airport.

A text message that appeared to come from flag carrier Middle East Airlines said: “Following the disruption of Beirut airport, travellers are requested to adhere to the instructions of the security services.”

Flights were unaffected but there appeared to be an issue with the baggage system.

Hezbollah and its arch nemesis Israel have been engaged in daily cross border clashes since October 8, with tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes on both sides.

While the clashes had been contained to the border region, on Tuesday the latest violence came to Beirut for the first time since October 7 when Israel assassinated Hamas deputy Saleh El Arouri in a densely packed neighbourhood of the Lebanese capital. Hezbollah and Hamas are close allies, and part of the so-called, Iran-led Axis of Resistance

Mr Nasrallah has said Hezbollah's actions were part of efforts “to halt [Israel's] aggression against Gaza” and “to alleviate the military pressure on Gaza”.

Nearly 23,000 people have been killed in Gaza since October 7 as a result of Israel's brutal bombardment of the Palestinian enclave. That came in response to Hamas's unprecedented and deadly incursion into southern Israel on October 7.

Updated: January 07, 2024, 6:10 PM