The Secretary General of Hezbollah has claimed that a future confrontation between the Lebanon-based terror group and Israel could take place within Israeli territory.
Hassan Nasrallah said, “Israel has been threatening for ten years to open a front against Hezbollah, but it hasn’t done anything. Israel is afraid of any confrontation because it could take place within its territory.”
He also added that Hezbollah was dismantling its military positions along Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria, saying that the area would now be under the responsibility of the Lebanese army.
Israel’s Ministry of Defense has begun constructing an improved network of defenses along the Lebanon border, to prevent potential Hezbollah infiltration. Man-made cliffs have been dug into hills, with one such barrier recently completed near Matat measuring 1,700 meters long and ten meters high, and a new fence is being installed along two stretches of the Lebanon border.
In a future war, IDF officials expect Hezbollah special-forces Radwan units to attempt to take over a civilian community across the border and kidnap soldiers or civilians. Some Israeli communities such as Shtula, Metula and Shlomi are located just several hundred meters from the border fence.
Nasrallah was speaking at an event marking the death of Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine, who ran Hezbollah’s operation in Syria from 2011 until his reported death in an explosion near Damascus’s international airport in 2016. Pan-Arab news network al-Arabiya has claimed that Badreddine was in fact killed under orders from Nasrallah, under pressure from Iran.
An estimated 5,000 to 8,000 Hezbollah fighters have been involved in the Syrian civil war, fighting on the side of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Nonetheless, the terror group remains focused on Israel and has significantly upgraded its arsenal since the last confrontation with Israel in 2006, with approximately 130,000 rockets and missiles, with far greater accuracy and range, estimated to now be in Hezbollah’s possession. It is thought that Hezbollah has the capacity to fire roughly 1,000 rockets a day in a future confrontation with Israel, challenging missile defense systems such as Iron Dome and David’s Sling, which Israel has invested in heavily over the past decade.
In April 2017 Hezbollah provided a tour of the Lebanese-Israel border for Arab and international journalists, showing the new IDF defense installations along the border.
[Photo: BICOM ]