Lebanon Seeks China’s Help to Solve Israel’s GPS Jamming Issues

GPS Jamming, lebanon, palestine, War, Warefare, israel

Lebanon’s Communications Ministry is looking at foreign solutions for its GPS jamming problems.

  • Its caretaker minister has met with China to secure $40 million in financial aid for the sector.
  • This isn’t the first time China has extended a helping hand to Lebanon.

Lebanon’s Ministry of Communications is looking into solving the country’s GPS jamming issues, possibly confirming the reported move away from Google Maps.

Since Israel’s war on Gaza was reignited in front of the whole world on October 7th, parties involved have resorted to GPS jamming and other methods to gain the upper hand.

Signal jamming is a popular modern warfare tactic that involves intentional interference with the GPS signal to disrupt or mislead receivers. As a result, Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) become inaccurate, disrupting intelligence gathering and navigation systems for weapons like missiles and drones. However, these GPS blockers also affect civilians.

Since the reignition of the Israeli war on Palestinians, there have been reports on the disruption affecting fishermen and drones in Lebanon, Palestine’s northern neighbor. There’s evidence that it interfered with airplanes and dating sites as well.

Lebanon Being Proactive

In a recent interview with the Voice of Lebanon, Johnny Al-Qurm, Lebanon’s Caretaker Minister of Communications, confirmed that the ministry is working on solving the GPS jamming issues.

This could potentially confirm recent reports that Lebanon is looking into replacing Google Maps with a non-American alternative. High-ranking members of the Lebanese Ministry of Communications revealed to Al-Arabiya that the government is considering replacing the Google Maps system with another, preferably non-American, system. They claim that tampering with it is easy for Israel due to the Big Tech company’s origin country.

The Ministry of Communications has reportedly asked Lebanon’s only telcos, Alfa and Touch, to prepare a report detailing the GPS jamming and the possible solutions.

Alarm bells are ringing as Lebanon, especially its South, continues to sit under telecommunications siege.

Opposite of American

The majority of Al-Qurm’s interview revolved around China’s financial assistance, following the caretaker minister’s recent visit to China to meet with Deng Boqing, the Chinese Vice Director of the International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA).

The visit was a success, having discussed $40 million in financial aid from China to Lebanon, and the funds have already been allocated to a project that Ogero, Lebanon’s main telecom infrastructure provider, is preparing. It aims to financially support the sector and implement Optical Line Terminal (OLT) and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technologies.

Al-Qurm went on to clarify that the funds have not been secured yet, as they still need to pitch the project to CIDCA. Its implementation is set for the end of this year.

Final Thoughts

In combination with China’s donation of over $8 million to install solar panels in more than 380 Ogero centers, this situation, including the GPS jamming, indicates that Lebanon most probably found its ally in a land far away from the U.S., squarely landing on the U.S.’s technological rival, China. As war keeps on destroying Palestine and its neighbors, the small countries are doing all they can to keep their heads above water.

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