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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Israeli intelligence: Hizballah stocks tens of thousands of rockets in restored bunkers
Israeli intelligence: Hizballah stocks tens of thousands of rockets in restored bunkers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jpost, DebkaFile   
Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Model of Tunnels
Model of Tunnels

Intel official: Despite UNIFIL, Hizbullah has built up underground infrastructure
Jun. 17, 2008
Rebecca Anna Stoil , THE JERUSALEM POST

Since the end of the Second Lebanon War, Hizbullah has amassed an underground military infrastructure under the noses of UNIFIL, a senior Military Intelligence officer told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday morning.

Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz, head of Military Intelligence's Research Division, said that in the almost two years since the end of the war, Hizbullah has built a massive underground infrastructure in the area south of the Litani River. Despite UN Resolution 1701 (which ruled that no military forces could be deployed south of the river and that Hizbullah must disarm) at the time seen as a victory for Israel, in the aftermath of the war Hizbullah has maintained and even strengthened its presence in the very areas from which the IDF sought to remove them in summer 2006.

"The only thing that is different from the situation before the war is that Hizbullah flags aren't being flown," said Baidatz.

Although the presence of UNIFIL troops in the area has prevented Hizbullah from acting openly, according to Baidatz, the Iranian-sponsored terror group has smuggled tens of thousands of rockets and has brought thousands of fighters to the area.

Baidatz, however, was not the main attraction at the committee meeting, where IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi gave MKs an overview of the IDF's recent activities.

Ashkenazi told MKs that in the West Bank the Palestinian Authority Police are doing their best in terms of maintaining law and order in the areas under their control, but not stepping up to the challenge of maintaining security.

The IDF chief also addressed the situation in the Gaza Strip, but many MKs were less than satisfied with his summary which they said lasted for less than ten minutes.

MK Yossi Beilin (Meretz) wrote a letter of complaint to Committee Chairman MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Kadima) arguing that "the chief of staff's appearance today made the committee into a joke. There is no reason to hold meetings with the chief of staff when he merely puts a check next to the fact that he has appeared before the committee."

Beilin complained that Ashkenazi's seven-minute-long lecture, followed by longer commentary by his lieutenants, wasted the committee members' time when they could have been discussing more pressing topics.

MK Limor Livnat (Likud) also expressed disappointment with Ashkenazi's overview, complaining that it was superficial and did not adequately address the critical topics at hand.

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1212659758929&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

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Israeli intelligence: Hizballah stocks tens of thousands of rockets in restored bunkers

Head of AMAN’s research division Brig. Yossi Baidatz brought bad news on two fronts to the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Tuesday, June 17. He reported that Hamas needed a ceasefire in Gaza after 350 of its terrorists had been killed. In his view, this ceasefire if finally negotiated would be fragile and short-lived.

As for Israel’s northern front, Baidatz confirmed DEBKAfile’s previous reports that Hizballah has stockpiled tens of thousands of rockets in fortified tunnels, in numbers far outstripping its pre-Lebanon War 2006 strength.

DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Iranian Revolutionary Guards engineers recently finished building three clusters of bunkers, fortified against aerial attack, to store the rockets Syria and Iran have lavished on Hizballah in the last two years.

One cluster is located in the Beqaa Valley, close to northeast Lebanon’s border with Syria. Built to house long-range rockets, these tunnels have wide openings so that they can be used as launching pads for rockets out of reach of Israeli bombers. A second, in central Lebanon, north of the strategic Beirut-Damascus highway, accommodates medium-range rockets. Syrian air and anti-tank forces will provide both clusters with an umbrella.

The third cluster is located in the south. It is armed with short-range rockets and other systems, including anti-tank artillery and missiles, designed to block an Israeli offensive.

Defense minister Ehud Barak was referring obliquely to this mighty Hizballah build-up when he said recently that Hizballah’s bunker system had been restored in South Lebanon, thereby refuting Prime minister Ehud Olmert’s contention that the war had weakened Hizballah.

According to our sources, most of the bunkers in the three new subterranean clusters are interconnected by one of three means:

1. Sub-tunnels broad enough to accommodate trucks and enable them to move about free of aerial attack and reconnaissance.

2. Cement-lined channels (picture) which keep traffic safe from air attack and serve as anti-tank trenches.

3. A fast highway network, which was laid for exclusive Hizballah military movements ahead of the tunnels and now connects all three clusters.

They are also linked by an autonomous telecommunications system. The Siniora government’s decision to dismantle this system in May generated the near-civil war which led to Hizballah’s violent takeover of most of Beirut.

While Israeli military intelligence warned the heads of government in good time about the tunnels and the vast rocket arsenal amassed by Hizballah, no orders came down to the army to liquidate it.

Political sources explain that the prime minister was deterred by fear that an Israeli military action against the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group, which is supported by Damascus and Tehran, would jeopardize the indirect Israeli-Syrian peace talks taking place through Turkey’s good offices.

http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5353



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