November 26, 2006

I'll ask again, isn't technology great?

The Lebanese government has approved a surveillance plan for Hizbullah-dominated areas of Beirut. The Lebanese Cabinet has agreed to install surveillance cameras throughout Beirut in a $12-million program. The Cabinet ordered the cameras to be attached to telephone lines and placed in Hizbullah-dominated neighborhoods of southern Beirut. "It agreed unanimously to use all necessary means to control the security situation in Lebanon," Lebanese Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said. Aridi said the cameras would monitor numerous areas throughout the Lebanese capital in the first step towards a comprehensive security program. But the minister stressed that the southern suburbs of Beirut would not receive cameras until a much later stage. He said damaged neighborhoods would first require reconstruction following the war with Israel, which ended on Aug. 14. During the 34-day war, Israel targeted Hizbullah headquarters and suspected weapons arsenals in southern Beirut.

Thousands of cameras would be installed throughout Beirut and linked to a command and control center. They center would be manned by representatives of the army and police to facilitate rapid response to emergencies. Hizbullah ministers oppose the installation of the security cameras in southern Beirut. They said the reconnaissance system, linked to a satellite, could be subject to Israeli intrusion."

Linking cameras to satellites could allow Israel to violate our security," said Energy Minister Mohammad Fneish, a Hizbullah member. In the first stage, officials said, data from the sensors would be relayed over telephone lines. Police stations throughout Beirut would be linked to the system with a central C2 center established in the Helou police barracks in Corniche Al Mazraa.

Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said Lebanon would introduce other security measures in the greater Beirut area. Fatfat said the campaign would include army and police reinforcements."This will continue until mid-January," Fatfat said.