Monday, February 26, 2007

The coming war

The next war against Israel is being prepared. It will, of course, be entirely the fault of the Israelis if anyone dies. The Times.

Hezbollah, the militant Shia organisation, is building a new line of defences just north of the United Nations-patrolled zone in south Lebanon ahead of a potential resumption of war with Israel.

The military build-up, only six months after the last Lebanon-Israel conflict, is being conducted in valleys and hillsides guarded by uniformed Hezbollah fighters in the rugged mountains north of the Litani river — the limit of the 12,000 strong UN Interim Force In Lebanon (Unifil).
Christian and Druze-owned land is being bought for cash by a Shia businessman. Hezbollah’s opponents believe the goal is to create a Shia-populated belt spanning the northern bank of the Litani, allowing the Lebanese group to operate away from prying eyes.

“The state of Hezbollah is already in existence in south Lebanon,” the Druze leader and arch Hezbollah critic Walid Jumblatt told The Times.
From another article in The Times:
These purchases will create a continuous Shia zone running from the edge of the long-disputed Shebaa Farms area all the way across to the coastline. Lebanon is in effect being physically divided by this initiative. This is terrain in which Hezbollah will soon be able to function much as it wishes. It is beyond the reach of the UN and its soldiers. It is already being described in the region as a “new Maginot Line”.

There is, though, a crucial difference. The original Maginot Line was defensive in its character. This one is not.
In a speech given in South Beirut on February 16, 2007, Hassan Nasrallah said
We are being very clear and we are saying that we have arms. We are not lying and [we are] telling it to the whole world. ...It [Hezbollah] is saying it in public, adding that it is rearming and increasing the scope of its armament in order to get more dangerous arms…

The resistance [i.e., Hezbollah] notes that it is transporting the arms to the front. We stress our commitment to the resistance [interpret as you wish], to the cause of the resistance and to the project of the resistance that defends the homeland...

Hezbollah… is willing to wage jihad and persist with its struggle for justice in all areas…

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