Israel says Hezbollah is preparing for war


With tensions mounting along their shared border, Israel’s military says Hezbollah is moving fighters and weapons into the villages of south Lebanon, building up a secret network of arms warehouses, bunkers and command posts in preparation for war.

The Israeli military has begun releasing detailed information about what it calls Hezbollah’s new border deployment, four years after a cross-border raid by its guerrillas triggered a 34-day war.

A reminder of the volatility came on August 3, when Lebanese troops fired at Israeli soldiers clearing brush on their side of the border. One Israeli officer was killed, another badly wounded, and a retaliatory helicopter strike killed two Lebanese soldiers and a reporter.

Hezbollah, which is armed by Iran and Syria and is more powerful than the Lebanese military, stayed out of the Aug. 3 fight. But its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, threatened that he would intervene next time. He has also said that if war breaks out again his forces will fire rockets into Tel Aviv.

Neither side has signaled that another war is imminent, but the Israelis’ unusual openness about what they claim to know of Hezbollah’s preparations seems to have two goals: to show the reach of their intelligence, and to stake their claim that if another war breaks out and many civilians die, it will be because Hezbollah placed its armaments and fighters in their midst.

Israel’s military says Hezbollah has changed strategy since the last war, moving most of its fighters and weapons from wooded rural areas into villages. It says the aim is to avoid detection and use to civilians for cover if war erupts.

The military says all of this exists under the nose of 12,000 international peacekeepers who, by their own count, conduct up to 340 patrols a day in south Lebanon but are hobbled by a hostile population and rules preventing them from searching private property.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Mount Adir, a hill overlooking the border, an officer from the military’s Northern Command pointed through the summer haze at the village of Aita al-Shaab.

One of its southernmost buildings, a white structure housing mentally handicapped children, is a Hezbollah lookout post, the officer said. Several guerrilla command posts are in civilian buildings in the center of Aita al-Shaab, she said, with several dozen fighters able to move among houses through underground tunnels. The military would not allow her name to be used because of the sensitivity of her job.

The village also houses a network of warehouses holding arms trucked in from Iran via Syria, she said, some in stand-alone structures and some in smaller stashes in garages, basements and buried under backyards.

The officer said the guerrillas now have 5,000 fighters operating in the buffer zone between the border and the Litani River — a strip ranging from 5 kilometers to 30 kilometers (3 miles to 18 miles) wide — which is supposed to be free of militant activity under the 2006 cease-fire. In late 2009, Nasrallah said Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal stood at 30,000. Israel says it’s now about 40,000.

Israel’s intelligence probably comes from surveillance flights over Lebanese territory, spy satellites and Lebanese agents. But the military provides no proof of its claims, saying that could compromise its sources, and the peacekeeping force says it sees no evidence of new military infrastructure. Hezbollah officials did not respond to requests for comment on Israel’s accusations.

It’s difficult to independently confirm the allegations on the ground. The south Lebanese, mostly Shiite like Hezbollah, tend to support the movement and rarely criticize it publicly or volunteer information. Hezbollah members or supporters often attach themselves to journalists entering villages, shadowing them and discouraging photography.

South Lebanon is festooned with posters of the bearded, turbaned Nasrallah, but the only visible hint of Hezbollah fighters are the bearded men in civilian clothes who travel on motorbikes or in cars and occasionally approach reporters working in the area.

In July, looking to build its case that Hezbollah is digging in among civilians, the military released maps, photographs and a 3-D simulation of the streets and houses of another Lebanese town, Khiam.

The simulation shows one arms storeroom, a squat, freestanding building colored red, located 130 meters (150 yards) from a school, colored blue. A map on the military’s Web site purports to pinpoint 12 arms storerooms and three command posts in the town.

The Israeli implication is clear: If another war erupts, many civilians will die.

In 2006, Israel responded to the Hezbollah border raid with a heavy bombardment of the south and then invaded, while Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets into northern Israel. The fighting killed 160 Israelis and around 1,200 Lebanese, according to official counts from each side. Israelis were dismayed to find their military suffering from organizational and supply problems, and were infuriated by international censure over the civilian death toll. That criticism was repeated even more forcefully over Israel’s Gaza offensive two winters ago.

But the Lebanon border has been largely quiet since 2006. Hezbollah has not fired a rocket in the past four years — though Palestinian militant groups have — and the Israeli officer killed in early August was the military’s first fatality on the frontier since 2006.

UNIFIL, the international peacekeeping force, “has not found any evidence of new military infrastructure in its area of operations,” said spokesman Neeraj Singh. “Only on a few occasions, UNIFIL found armed elements in the area with personal weapons like AK-47s.”

While saying UNIFIL had made “significant progress” in helping the Lebanese army secure the south, he acknowledged that the peacekeepers are barred from searching private property, where the Israelis say much of the evidence of the guerrillas’ presence would be found.

Some indications of Hezbollah activity in the south have surfaced unintentionally. When a building at Khirbet Silim exploded on July 15, 2009, peacekeepers identified it as an actively maintained Hezbollah arms warehouse. Another storehouse blew up in October, the Israelis say, and in December, according to Singh, peacekeepers caught a “group of individuals” with about 250 kilograms (550 pounds) of explosives.

UNIFIL’s performance has implications beyond south Lebanon. If the Israelis turn out to be right about the Hezbollah buildup, it will undermine their trust in international forces to police other volatile areas, such as Gaza and the West Bank, under a peace treaty.

In preparation for a new round against Hezbollah, the Israeli military has simulated parts of south Lebanon at a training base called Elyakim, about an hour’s drive south from the border. A second facility in central Israel is nearing completion.

One day in late July, near a mock Lebanese village of gray concrete, a company of sweating Israeli infantry recruits staged a maneuver through thick Lebanese-style undergrowth, complete with rockets hidden in the bushes and bombs camouflaged as rocks.

A square metal cover on the earth opened onto a concrete tunnel where Lt. Natan Mann stood in the dark, drilling his men for the real thing.

“The army has made tactical changes and changes in its mindset,” said Mann, 23, one hand on the plastic grip of his rifle. “We’re either at war, or we’re training for war.” AP



30 responses to “Israel says Hezbollah is preparing for war”

  1. Mr. Nasrallah should surrender himself to the Lebanese government, and be placed under protection until the STL issue is resolved. The goverment should not allow a man with his power to be roaming free, as he is putting the country at risk. As the STL indictments heat up, Hassoun would be more than willing to push the trigger on the war gun just to (attempt to) escape justice and so as to NOT GO DOWN EASY. If he doesn’t surrender, someone please take the gun away from him. We should not let our people be massacred because of a criminal… There is nothing wrong with military buildup in the south if it is done within the scope of legitimacy… Let the army build its own secret warehouses, and don’t use our civilians as a cover… If a war does take place because Mr Hassoun triggered it, he should be tried as a war criminal along with Israel for the death of all civilians…

    1. At school the lowest IQ kid is the worst bully, isn’t true. So here we have a rogue group led by an ignorant leader, bulling their way into the system. That may work for a moment before a bigger bully comes and eat their lunch, if you know what I mean.

      1. Thumbs down why, I an open to a dialogue. Again if you are going to comment on someones opinion, may be you should state it. Prove me otherwise unless your IQ is below hassoon’s.

      2. I just know understand why one tiny nation like israel could win unjust wars against Arabs.

        It’s not them but from inside they lost the war.

        You are worried about one harriri died, not worried 1500 Lebanese were killed/ 1400 Palestinians were killed. I saw how Fatah providing locations where to bomb. How Arabs were asking Israel to bomb Lebanon and how Lebanese Government honoured Bush after the massacare.

        Bravo!!!! May Allah bless you people… So, Israel could rule for thousand years.

  2. Youssef Avatar

    The justification for murder has commenced. I think the term they use is “collateral damage”.

    I doubt every house, school, place of worship, shop, petrol station etc in the south is an arms depot.

    But that wont stop the

    israelis’ from targeting and attempting to destroy every single house, school, place of worship, shop, petrol station etc in the south.

    I find it quite disturbing that they continue to manipulate and dupe the global community into believing their reasons for bombing / attacking civilian areas.

    Whilst they kill and murder, they face the cameras and state “The loss of innocent lives is inevitable” / “human shields” / “khezballah and the Lebanese government are responsible” etc.

    They always implicate the Lebanese government, given the bombing of goverment buildings, airport, army etc needs to be justified.

    May God give Lebanon the strength, patience and will it needs in these testing times.


  3. Prophet Avatar

    They should appoint you a defense minister.

    You seem to have it all under control. With your comic plans and strategies, Lebanon will be well defended, and every mother would sleep soundly knowing her children are well protected by your comic defensive plans.

    I ‘m truly impressed by your plans to take HIS GUN AWAY. I think you can make it in political comedy man. I’d vouch for you. lol

    1. Mr Prophet, if everyone expressed concern behind Nasrallah’s war strategies which seems to take place evey 3-4 years, then he would have no choice but to step down and allow his soldiers to join the army… I’m totally convinced that Israel is 95% less likely to launch a war with Lebanon if H/A’s military dissolves. For the 5% remaining, we’ll be able to fight with unity, public opinion, and international support. These regular wars every 3-4 years accomplish nothing but to kill our people, destroy our infrastructure, and economy and cause our young to emigrate. I can’t find one good to keep H/A as an independent entity from the state, able to launch anytime it wants to the detriment of everyone else.

      1. Prophet Avatar


        Can you tell me why Israel committed more than 10 massacres in south Lebanon in 1948?Can you tell me what it was bombing southern villages in the 50’s and 60’s?BTW All these attacks took place before the PLO was even created. I won’t defend Nassrallah. I think He’s capable of defending his positions. But I will tell you that Even He was not born when those attacks were taking place. I won’t list them all, but I’ll leave you with this link

        My point is that our problems with Israel started way back. They started with the creation of that state. They pushed half a million Palestinians into Lebanon, an expected Lebanon to take them in and police the border. Even if there is no HA, Israel will be a threat to Lebanon. Do you know that Israel started planting Spies back in the 40’s? You know they were not planted then to spay on HA or Nassrallah.

        I suggest you put your feelings toward Nassrallah aside and start thinking bit logical. Israel was and still is and will always be a threat to Lebanon and to the whole entire region. If you can do that much, then we can truly think of national unity. So far this unity has been a joke.

  4. Prophet Avatar


    1. Prophet,

      All these grievances against Israel and its past crimes are all the more reason why someone like Mr Nasrallah with such ardent feelings towards Israel should not be placed in a position of power like his, in his own camp… After many years of conflict, someone like his’ judgement is impaired and should so he should lead a country and people… He becomes trigger happy and gets satisfaction out of returning evil as opposed to spreading good, any chance he gets… I am not sure what your dictionary says but mine spells out that violence only leads to more violence and accomplishes nothing, not even in the short term… So what do we want for our kids? A world where they get satisfaction out of killing or one where a chance to avoid conflict at any cost is taken with every opportunity?

      1. meant to say he should NOT lead a country and people.

      2. Prophet Avatar


        Did you say past crimes? Where have you been living man? The crimes never stopped, not in Lebanon, not in the west bank, and not in Ghaza. They even stretched to Dubi. But I’ll stick with Lebanon for now. Are you asking me to throw the towel and let the Israelis do what they please? Where is your sense of nationality? You keep bragging about sovereignty and all. Yet when it comes to defending that sovereignty you want nothing done. Our Government has failed to defend its territories and its citizens, therefore people have the right to defend themselves anyway they can. Whether it’s Nassralla or not, You’d feel the same way , it seems.

        I hate violence as much you do. But we’re talking about self defense. Lebanon didn’t invade Israel and occupy its capital, but Israel did. Never didn’t occupy part of Israel 20 years, But Israel did, and still do occupy some. Entire towns and villages were destroyed by Israel (not only in 2006). Thousands of Lebanese civilians have been killed. PLEASE don’t tell me past crimes. His judgment, like it or not, is what forced Israel to withdraw from most of the south in 2000.

        I Gather that you don’t have any grievances against Israel at all. I’d invite you to live on the border for a year with your family, and then you tell me how you feel. I want for our kids to live in peace and get the best they can out of live and prosperous as much as any other kid out there. That won’t happen unless you’re defended, protected, and respected.

      3. well said prophet habeebi

      4. I second that Prophet. the crimes are still being done til this day. it has never stopped.





    1. I agree with you Tony

  6. Long live Lebanon

  7. Walid Khouri Avatar
    Walid Khouri

    Israel says Hezbollah is preparing for war… etc. etc.

    and Israel is preparing for peace? Give me a break… Of course ALL of lebanon should prepare for war and hope for peace. The Israelis are preparing EVERY minute of the day for a new round of hostilities as they admit openly that their military has simulated parts of south Lebanon at a training base called Elyakim and another facility being built intended to train for more aggression.

    1. walid habeebi holi israel ikhwayt 3arsa dude. their day will come cos even if their soldiers train for more aggression, they will never equal our fearless men who have such strong faith that in 2006, i’m not talking about winning or losing here, but look at the statistics here:

      israel 1200 civilians with all their sophisticated weaponry.

      lebanon 150 ALL MILITARY PERSONNEL.

      i heard that the ship thta was blown up had another 200 but those numbers were never published.

      tell me thats not gutso for you huh??

  8. Isreal has been preparing and waging wars against arabs especailly Lebanese and Palestinians since the early 1940s. So is it a crime for a country to prepare its DEFENSES against Isreal… is not a country even it is a militia…We should be as COUNTRIES be prepared for war at all times…but unfortunatley our leaders are busy planning thier vacations in Europe on the expense of their countrymen

  9. Jad, Walid, Tony, thumbs up! you all see the big picture and not preoccupied with our tid for tad political stupidity that is ruining Lebanon and making Israel very happy.

  10. I think Israel saying the resistance is preparing for war actually Israel will attack first by using a small excuse some thing like the resistance fired on us and killed a civillian or idf soldier either staging it or actually happened by the resistance and start destroying the infrastructure of Lebanon that Lebanon can not recover this time around because of the economy the west does not have any extra money and how much the Arabs are going tocontribute , they are tired of Lebanon the last 35 years nothing but problems for them . Last Israel can not afford to live under the threat of gun forever and this a perfect excuse and justificatin, I wonder how many more years Lebanon can suffer any body that sincerely have love for their motherland should do every thing to avoid this tragedy of dejavue!

  11. rafik habeebi why do you think lebanon has a love hate relationship with HA at this moment?

    president suleiman and hariri know that HA is required for lebanon right now until it organises itself to the point that HA can comfortably disarm without israel having to barge in on us again.

    lebanon is going through a metamorphosis right now and many lebanese who lack vision (sorry to say) are failing to see this.

    whether we enjoy making peace with syria or not, the unity is required to focus on fighting one front instead of two.

    whether or not we hate war, we must build the LAF so that HA can disarm cos right now, our only defense is HA whether we like it or not.

    we must demarcate borders and we must explore for gas and we must get our water and our electricity.

    all of the above requires patience and until the dingleberry called STL finally comes to a close, lebanon can move on and actually focus on unity cos right now, theres such a contradiction between the UNITY message and the gloom of the STL’s verdict overshadowing such message.

    how can we chant unity when we’re about to crucify someone or some group within our family or some country outside of ourselves who currently we have peace deals with and open embassies.

    this whole STL is absolutely retarded. hariris death was very sad and allah yir7amoo for sure but lebanon is dying now over one man.

    i wonder what hariri would say about all this?

  12. Tony A , all I am saying Lebanon is in coma and can not afford an other devastating war right or wrong.

  13. rafik i was totally agreeing you bro. i hate posts cos at times things get lost in translation.

    i am totally with you and was merely adding to your thought my brother.

  14. lek 5ye rafik tol 3omrna 3ayshin bi 7rob mano shi jdid 3layna mn 1000 sene la hala2 mashi tghayar nafs 3a2liye ba3da bas ger 3alam wo lkel bya3rfo ano israel 5el2eit latkon 3atabe 3a hal mant2a bas hal 3atabe batalit tenfa3 a big thnks to hezbollah ano lkel bye7ke ano matlna 1200 wo hene ma matlon shi 7at2le hitler rebi7 7arb 3alamiye tenye ba3ed shway:P fi 7areb 3al 7alten ba3ed sene senten 3ashr snin bas fi 7areb berga3 b2ol mano shi jdid 3lyna zhe2na ana ma3ak bas hal shagle akbar men hek wo sad2ne ne7na ada

  15. Jean Haddad Avatar
    Jean Haddad

    My fellow posters, israelis are untrustee, criminals and whatever you say I can’t say any better you all are right.

    But I see the entire story in different way as you all do.

    Israel and HA has mutual objective to defeat each other resulting in to knee down the US or to break Iran. We the Lebanese are innocents in general and the Shias feel proud and protected and respected in the presence of HA.

    Israelis are more scared which they fear HA as opposed to HA which they are ready to die by confronting israelis. How can an Israeli soldier fight a member of HA when they know only death can stop them. It’s difficult war for Israel and pushing civil strife would be much easier for Them to break HA but HA will never engAge into civil strife. All these speeches are only to demonstrate to Israel that eventually HA will take over the country to convoke the yahoodee to attack for 2 objectives:

    1- to bombard Israel heavily putting pressure on the American vis a vis Iran

    2- to get the israelis busy at southern Lebanon delaying their attack on Iran while Iranian are setting final touch with the reactors.

    The israelis will be left with no option except to hit both Iran and Lebanon simultaneously and Lebanese people becomes the victim. So my word is neither HA or Israelis are right and each one of them has planned agenda none of them care about Lebanon and about its people. I hate both of them since they are operating off our land in the name of Iran and Israel. Where is the west? Where is Europe? Where are the arabs? The whole world needs a punishment for the mistakes that made and they will against our people. We have suffered more than the Palestinians or other nation in this world.

    That’s why I don’t like any politician anymore. Because of their ego we end up here cleaning the mistakes of the past . Who is the winner or the loser. The entire world is loser and ther would be no winner

  16. Im Lebanese and i hope that there is no need for any hostilities and peace prevails, but as long as Hezbollah are here Israel will always be worried. Israel know that the Lebanese Army is weak in comparison.

  17. fouad yes my friend israel are very worried because HA there they are not sleeping day and night god help them they lost lot of weight

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