22,111 Israeli military aircraft have violated Lebanese airspace since 2007

In the absence of governance living up to this name, therefore, it would have had to be an ordinary citizen who does so. Besides, it should have been an artist who decided to talk about it. Cold, without affects, with supporting figures and therefore almost irrefutable. To speak of this noise, which the Lebanese can memorize, all the way down to their bowels, to such an extent that it has become a common sound of their daily lives, of collective psychology. This noise, sometimes roaring, sometimes buzzing, sometimes exploding, which often makes our interior tremble to the point that we send ourselves, by reflex and in panic, in shelters, is the sound of Israeli military planes and surveillance drones has violated Lebanese airspace for decades. This noise, “which we ignore, forgets that it is deadly”, so the artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan (who prefers the pseudonym “private ear”) into it in 2020. The result of a study of almost two years, therefore the most exhaustive of its kind launched the latter platform

AirPressure.info, whose content reveals, among other things, that the Israeli air force has occupied Lebanon’s skies for eight and a half years in the last 15 years. That’s 3098 days. The observation is all the more appalling because 22,111 military devices have flown over our heads since 2007 (i.e., after the last war to date with Israel) that terrorize the Lebanese people from south to north, without exception.

Israeli planes cross the Lebanese sky. Photo DR

The day after the 4th of August …

The origins of this project, its clicks, go back to the fall of 2020, shortly after the August 4 explosion. ‘At the time, I heard many people around me say they had heard planes just before the double explosion. As if the airstrikes were limited to this very isolated event, as in the month before August 4 alone, there were 400 Israeli overflights. It was there that I realized that this debate was counterproductive and that something had to be done to show the extent of this crime, to condemn the environment of violence it had created, ”said this independent investigator, who is used to using his artist’s tools for questioning sound and linguistics. To carry out this ambitious plan, the team

“These operations go beyond espionage or training and are more on the side of mass surveillance and intimidation,” Lawrence Abu Hamdan emphasizes. Photo DR

of AirPressure.info, hacked by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, extracted data from 243 letters in the United Nations Digital Library from 2006 to 2021, each of which had been addressed to the Security Council by Lebanon’s Permanent Representative. The documents in question contain the information that the radars detect, namely the time, duration, type and trajectory of each air disturbance. “The problem is that it was a cumbersome process to collect this data. The documents had been uploaded in an unsystematic way and could be found non-uniformly on the website. The team behind AirPressure.info had to patch all these documents together and manually transcribe each violation for The Lebanese Ministry of Defense, the UN Security Council and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon monitored and recorded these violations and had clear access and capacity to carry out this work themselves. Instead, these institutions helped to conceal their scale crimes by storing data in a piecemeal and uncoordinated way, “regrets Abu Hamdan, who still managed the farm to carry out his project, resulting in the website AirPressure.info, which saw the light of day last week. The platform illustrates on an interactive map, thanks be a collection of loops over the territory, all air violations committed by the Israeli Air Force from 200 7 to December 2021.

The AirPressure.info platform illustrates on an interactive map, thanks to an unmanageable array of loops across the territory, all air violations committed by the Israeli Air Force from 2007 to December 2021. Photo DR

Deconstruction of the narrative of Israel and Hezbollah

Aside from taking a closer look at the days, months, and years, four revelations force attention. First, the average duration of an overflight over Lebanese territory is 4 hours and 35 minutes, while the sounds that the population perceives do not exceed one or two minutes at all. For example, an overflight on March 1, 2013 lasted 30 hours and fifty minutes. Second, the overflights cover the entire Lebanese territory, in contrast to the established narrative that limits Israeli interest to areas of Hezbollah influence. Thirdly, most of these operations involve combat or surveillance aircraft, which are among the most technologically advanced in the world and with which the Lebanese Earth Defense has nothing comparable. “It’s almost fictitious. And proves that these operations go beyond espionage or training, but rather are on the side of mass surveillance and intimidation,” emphasizes Lawrence Abu Hamdan. Finally, fourth, the database collected on

AirPressure.info shows only two incidents in which fighter jets entering through the Lebanese border left Syrian territory, despite a misconception that most of these flights are intended to bomb Syria. “The idea through this project was to deconstruct on the one hand the Israeli discourse, which only repeats that Hezbollah is its only enemy; and on the other hand the myth of resistance as advocated by Hezbollah, which had at least more than 22,000 opportunities to manifest itself. Finally, the goal was also to uncover the strategy of global armament, which uses our skies as laboratories to test these machines “, sums up the one who says he has chosen the name private ear” because on the one hand I need inquiry to consolidate and strengthen my research; and on the other hand, I use the artistic side of my work to make politics more sensitive in a way ”. Speaking of which, AirPressure.info is not just about what’s going on in the sky. The “on the ground” page of the site maps Twitter users’ reactions when these overflights occurred, especially when they occurred at low altitude, causing a state of general panic. In this sense, the platform also contains 11 articles taken from scientific journals describing the physiological effects caused by these aircraft noises, with symptoms ranging from hypertension to a decrease in blood flow, including, of course, multiple traumas. “I know that through this project I am bringing an inconvenient truth to light. It is my way of giving the Lebanese some clarity, something they are constantly being deprived of. And perhaps also of helping to heal their trauma through knowledge,” Lawrence concludes. Abu Hamdan, to whom we undoubtedly owe one of the most significant projects of recent decades.

In the absence of governance living up to this name, therefore, it would have had to be an ordinary citizen who does so. Besides, it should have been an artist who decided to talk about it. Cold, without affects, with supporting figures and therefore almost irrefutable. When you talk about this noise, which the Lebanese know by heart, right down to their guts, then …

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