BEIRUT — The United States announced a series of sanctions Wednesday against Green Without Borders (GWB), a Lebanese environmental NGO accused of providing "support to and cover" for Hezbollah's activities in southern Lebanon.
According to the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, GWB has since its founding in 2013 "used its resources to support Hizballah [sic.] activity at GWB outposts and has also publicly partnered with the Hizballah’s construction arm, Jihad al-Bina, which was designated by OFAC in 2007."
"Collaboration between GWB and Hizballah is widely reported in the media, including by official Hizballah media outlets," Wednesday's statement added.
The sanctions also target GWB leader Zuhair Subhi Nahla, who, according to the US, acknowledged that the association's role was "providing a wall to protect Hizballah."
"Although Nahla claims that he and GWB are not part of Hizballah, he has publicly acknowledged his and GWB’s affiliation with the terrorist group," the statement read.
The new sanctions include a freeze on the assets of the NGO and its head in the US, and a ban on any American citizen or entity doing business with either party.
The NGO has been criticized for many years by Israel for its activities it described as benefitting Hezbollah.
In 2018, the Israeli army claimed that Hezbollah had set up observation posts under the guise of environmental activities.
Earlier, in 2017, UNIFIL rejected Israeli accusations against the group, claiming that GWB had indeed planted trees in the area and had not observed "any unauthorized armed persons on the sites. "