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Hezbollah-Linked Newspaper Reports Military Buildup on Border, Confirming Israeli Claims

A Hezbollah-allied newspaper, As-Safir, recently published a series reports on the massive infrastructure, including a network of tunnels, that the Iranian-backed terrorist organization has been building on Lebanon’s border with Israel, The Times of Israel reported Saturday. According to the Times, Hezbollah is “painting a picture of a military force highly prepared for conflict, both in terms of equipment and of infrastructure.”

According to the reports, based on a tour of Hezbollah facilities given to the newspaper, the group has built a sprawling underground array of tunnels, bunkers and surveillance outposts along the border with Israel, which it is manning at peak readiness for battle.

The tunnels are said to be highly-advanced, with durable concrete, a 24-hour power supply via underground generators, a ventilation system to prevent damp from damaging military equipment and a web of secondary escape shafts in case of attack. The tunnels are said to be housing tens of thousands of rockets ready for launch, themselves wrapped in protective materials in order to preserve them. …

Tunnel construction was said to be continuing around the clock, using primitive means rather than advanced machinery in order to avoid detection by Israeli surveillance.

While the Times cautioned that as-Safir is “a mouthpiece” for Hezbollah, the reports of the tunnels and infrastructure match warnings that the Israeli military has been giving. Earlier this month, The New York Times quoted an Israeli military official who characterized residents of southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah’s infrastructure is strongest, as “civilians are living in a military compound.”

Iran’s support of Hezbollah is in direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, allowing “no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its Government.” Earlier this year, the Security Council refused to condemn Iran’s continued supply of weapons to Hezbollah.

Last week, a military aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatened the destruction of Tel Aviv and Haifa via Hezbollah’s rocket arsenal.

Two years ago it was reported that Hezbollah exploited Shiite residents in southern Lebanon by subsidizing their houses on condition that the families allow rockets and launchers to be stored at the homes to “be fired at predetermined targets in Israel when the order is given.” In 2012, the Israeli military estimated that one in ten houses in southern Lebanon was used by Hezbollah for arms storage.

[Photo: Israel Defense Forces / Flickr ]