US sanctions Lebanese entity, leader for providing support to Hezbollah
Lebanon-based environment, reforestation organization, leader designated for providing cover, support to Hezbollah
By Firdevs Bulut Kartal
TORONTO (AA) - The US Treasury Department designated a Lebanon-based entity and its leader Thursday for supporting and covering for Hezbollah's operations.
The Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Green Without Borders (GWB) organization, which has supported Hezbollah operations in southern Lebanon "along the Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel over the last decade while publicly operating under the guise of environmental activism," according to a statement.
“The United States rejects Hizballah’s cynical efforts to cloak its destabilizing terrorist activities with false environmentalism,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.
The US will continue to support civil society organizations protecting Lebanon's natural environment while pursuing Hezbollah and its support networks, said the statement.
"OFAC is designating Green Without Borders and its leader, Zuhair Subhi Nahla, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists, terrorist organizations, leaders and officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism," it added.
Green Without Borders was established in 2013 under the guise of protecting Lebanon's natural environment and reforestation. In reality, it served as a cover for Hezbollah activities in southern Lebanon.
The organization has outposts manned by Hezbollah operatives in more than a dozen locations along the Blue Line.
Zuhair Subhi Nahla, leader of the GWB, described tree-planting activities of the organization as a wall to protect Hezbollah. Although he denied that GWB is a part of Hezbollah, he acknowledged his and GWB's affiliation with the group.
Both are being designated by the US pursuant to Section 1(a)(iii)(E) of E.O. 13224, as amended, for being GWB's leader and for supporting Hezbollah.
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