The Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces warned that Hezbollah is using the civilian population in Lebanon as human shields, and their presence in the area is a violation of UN resolutions.
The IDF’s chief of staff said on Tuesday that the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group has a presence in “every third or fourth house” in southern Lebanon, in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 1701, which called for the removal of all armed groups from the area.
Speaking at the annual Herzliya Conference, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said that Hezbollah was ensconced in some 240 villages and towns in southern Lebanon, and remains the most immediate threat to Israel. He added that the Islamist group receives sophisticated weaponry from Iran, some of which is supplied by Russia.
Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explained in July of last year that Hezbollah’s widely-reported tactic of hiding military assets in civilian areas would lead to mass casualties.
Reports emerged in 2013 that Hezbollah was offering reduced-price housing to Shiite families who allow the terrorist group to store rocket launchers in their homes. An Israeli defense official told The New York Times in May 2015 that the buildup of Hezbollah’s terror infrastructure in southern Lebanese villages meant that “civilians are living in a military compound” and that their lives were at risk. A few days later, a newspaper linked to Hezbollah bolstered the Israeli assessment.
Addressing a special meeting at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last July, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Danny Danon presented an aerial photograph to the Security Council of the Lebanese village of Shaqra. He noted the village has been transformed into a “terrorist stronghold.” The special meeting marked the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah.
“The village of Shaqra has been turned into a Hezbollah stronghold with one out of three buildings used for terror activities, including rocket launchers and arms depots,” Danon said. “Hezbollah has placed these positions next to schools and other public institutions, putting innocent civilians in great danger. We demand the removal of Hezbollah terrorists from southern Lebanon.”
Danon pointed out that Hezbollah was in possession of roughly 7,000 rockets in 2006, and the Lebanese terror group now has more than 120,000 missiles aimed at Israeli cities, hidden under human shields in the towns they control.
Hezbollah has “more missiles below ground in Lebanon then the European NATO allies have above ground,” Danon said.
Speaking in April, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, Israel’s deputy chief of staff, told foreign journalists that Hezbollah has developed capabilities that present “unprecedented” threats to Israel. He issued a stern warning to the terror group that any future attack by Hezbollah on Israel will unleash “devastating” damage on Lebanon.
By: The Tower and World Israel News Staff