Photo: Reuters
Hezbollah fighters in Sidon (archives)
Photo: Reuters
Hezbollah post
Photo: Avihu Shapira
Photo: AP
Fighter at lookout post in 2006 war
Photo: AP

Time examines Hezbollah's war preparations

American weekly's journalist visits south Lebanon to find Shiite group ready and waiting for next conflict with Israel. 'Next war is coming, 100%, but we don't know when', one fighter says

"With a startled shout from the outcrop above, the Hezbollah fighter bounded down the rocky slope and cocked his AK-47 rifle in a dramatic flourish as he drew near. 'What are you doing here?' he demanded, his face a mix of anger and astonishment. 'This is a military zone. You should not be here.'"


These are the opening lines of an article by Time magazine's Nicholas Blanford, following his visit to south Lebanon. The report mainly focuses on the Shiite organization's military preparations at an observation post that overlooks the town of Jezzine.


This post's location was hand picked due to its view over the hills and valley of the Bekaa region, where fighting in the next conflict with Israel is expected to take place.


As for the question of whether or not such a conflict will erupt, the journalist says this depends less on the situation on the ground, and more on the United States and Iran.


On the field, the impending war seems to be a given. "The next war is coming, 100%, but we don't know when," said Ali, one of the Hezbollah fighters interviewed by Blanford. "We have big plans for it. God willing, you will see the end of Israel."


Blanford writes that he got the impression that he Hezbollah fighters do not fear the next round of clashes, and that they "actually look forward to it".


Not afraid of war: 'We can always rebuild'

As for the possibility of great devastation in the country, such as that which was left after the last war, the fighters are not deterred. "It doesn't matter. We can always rebuild. Our dignity is more important than roofs over our heads," a unit commander by the name of Haj told Branford.


Ali comes off as even more fanatic, and the years of devout Islamic education are evident in his beliefs that he is "walking the path of the Prophet Muhammad" and that "you cannot understand the joy of jihad unless you are in Hezbollah."


Blanford goes on to analyze Hezbollah's weapons arsenal, and reviews recent reports of the organization's obtaining of surface-to-surface missiles and surface-to-air missiles. But ultimately, he finds that the Hezbollah fighters still rely on older weapons, such as the RPG-7 grenade launcher.


"The RPG-7 is old but still a good weapon," says Ali. "It's how you use them that counts. We are always studying new combat techniques."


The movement's battle plan, Blanford learns, may also include sending terrorist cells to infiltrate Israel and carry out attacks. "God willing, we will go into Palestine next time," says Ali.


פרסום ראשון: 05.11.10, 12:22
 new comment
This will delete your current comment