Hezbollah is hiding an arsenal of 100,000 rockets and missiles, hundreds of which can reach anywhere in Israel, underneath human shields in southern Lebanon.
By Lauren Calin, World Israel News
The IDF has declassified a report saying that the terrorist organization Hezbollah has an arsenal of 100,000 rockets and missiles intended for attacking Israel. The missiles were provided by the Syrian and Iranian governments and are concealed in Shiite villages in southern Lebanon, often beneath civilian infrastructure. Hezbollah is legally required to disarm under both UN Resolution 1701 and the Taif Agreement.
The report indicates that Hezbollah is capable of hitting anywhere inside of Israel. Although most of their arsenal consists of short-range rockets, Hezbollah possesses several thousands of missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv and hundreds with a range covering the entire country. These include: the Fajr-5, with a range of 75 km; the Zelzal-2, 210 km; the M-600, 250 km; and the Scud D, 700 km. In contrast, Hezbollah’s arsenal consisted of only 20,000 rockets during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, of which 4,000 were fired into Israel over the course of a month. The farthest target was the city of Hadera, which forms the unofficial boundary between central and northern Israel.
Hezbollah is using villagers in southern Lebanon as human shields for its rockets and missiles in order to ensure that any Israeli operation against Hezbollah will result in a large number of Lebanese civilian deaths. The IDF gave as an example the village of al-Khiam, whose 90 Hezbollah members have hidden thousands of tons of munitions and a command headquarters adjacent to three schools and a medical facility.
Images shown to reporters but not cleared for publication provide more shocking examples, according to Associated Press. Over one-third of the 90 buildings in the village of Muhaybib are being used by Hezbollah. In a larger village, Shaqra, Hezbollah is operating in some 400 of its 1,200 buildings. The IDF estimates that 200 villages are being used by Hezbollah as “military strongholds.”
Iran has been the primary benefactor of Hezbollah’s arsenal. According to the IDF report, Iran ships rockets and missiles, drones and air defense systems in convoys through Syria. The material ends up in warehouses in Lebanon before being concealed underneath civilian infrastructure in southern Lebanon. In return, Hezbollah carries out attacks as a proxy for Iran and supports the Syrian government in the civil war in that country.
Hezbollah made extensive use of human shields in the Second Lebanon War, with the result that nearly half of the estimated 1,200 Lebanese deaths were civilians. Following the war, UN Resolution 1701, which was approved by the Lebanese government, called on Hezbollah to disarm completely and dispatched UNIFIL forces to ensure that Hezbollah did not re-arm. Hezbollah is also required to disarm by the Taif Agreement, signed in 1989, which brought an end to the decades-long Lebanese Civil War.
Former IDF chief Benny Gantz, speaking at the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center conference in Tel Aviv last month, said the internationally accepted laws of war must be updated to better address the use of human shields as a major tactic in asymmetric warfare.