August 16, 2023 | Flash Brief

Treasury Department Sanctions Hezbollah ‘Green’ Front Group

August 16, 2023 | Flash Brief

Treasury Department Sanctions Hezbollah ‘Green’ Front Group

Latest Developments

The U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned Lebanon-based Green Without Borders (GWB) and its leader, Zuhair Subhi Nahla, on August 16 for aiding Hezbollah. Treasury explained that GWB “has provided support to and cover” for Hezbollah’s operations in southern Lebanon along the Lebanon-Israel border “while publicly operating under the guise of environmental activism.” Treasury designated GWB and Nahla pursuant to Executive Order 13224, as amended, which targets terrorists, terrorist organizations, leaders and officials of terrorist groups, and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

According to Treasury, GWB has more than a dozen outposts along the Israel-Lebanon border, manned by Hezbollah operatives. These outposts serve as cover for Hezbollah munitions storage tunnels and impede border patrols by United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeepers.

Expert Analysis

“The Israelis have been sounding the alarm about Green Without Borders for several years now. This imposter charity has consistently posed a threat to regional security through the erection of outposts along the Lebanese border that Hezbollah could exploit. The timing of these new sanctions, however, is important. They come amidst multiple provocations by Hezbollah along the border. Washington is thus making it clear that Hezbollah’s aggression will be accounted for.” — Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

“Treasury’s designation of Green Without Borders is an important first step in preventing Hezbollah’s fake environmental group from triggering a real war. But there is more to be done. When the mandate of UNIFIL peacekeepers comes up for renewal by the UN Security Council on August 31, the United States should insist that the mandate be strengthened to stop GWB from blocking UNIFIL’s access to the border. In addition, the U.S. government should condition some of its hundreds of millions of dollars in annual assistance to the Lebanese government and armed forces on their removal of GWB outposts and other Hezbollah positions near the Israeli border.” — Orde Kittrie, FDD Senior Fellow

GWB Part of Broader Pattern of Hezbollah Aggression at Border

The GWB outposts are a major, but far from the only, dangerous recent border activity by Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militia designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Several border incidents have involved GWB incursions across the Israeli border line.

For example, on July 15, a Hezbollah-affiliated member of the Lebanese Parliament illegally led an 18-person group across the border. On July 14, Hezbollah members illegally entered Israel and stole military equipment. On July 9, a group of 30 Lebanese soldiers and Hezbollah members illegally crossed the border. In May, Hezbollah erected two military structures in Israeli territory.

Hezbollah Military Actions Violate International Law

Hezbollah’s military presence anywhere in Lebanon, including along the border with Israel, is contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls for “the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that … there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state.” The goal of the resolution, passed following the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, is to prevent a future conflict by removing the main cause of that war: the presence in Lebanon of Hezbollah forces.

The 27 military outposts that Hezbollah has built along the border over the last year, under the guise of GWB, gravely undermine the Resolution 1701 framework. That framework has, despite its flaws, helped Israel and Lebanon avert large-scale war since 2006.

Hezbollah ‘Green’ Group Builds Dozens of New Military Outposts Along Israeli Border,” by Orde Kittrie

“Continued Hezbollah Impunity Risks Regional Explosion,” by Orde Kittrie


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