Hizballah continues to entrench itself in the Syrian civil war, while facing a string of radical Sunni bombing attacks in its Lebanese strongholds. The terrorist organization is also facing renewed international backlash regarding its alleged role in the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
These challenges contribute to the group’s deterioration in popularity within Lebanon and across the Arab world. Despite these pressing and overlapping challenges, Hizballah continues to enhance its presence along the Israeli border, the Times of Israel reports. Its activity in bordering villages can be seen by Israel Defense Forces (IDF), in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 passed in the conclusion of the 2006 war between Hizballah and Israel.
For instance, they have watched a “TV crew” arrive in the area but not act accordingly and witnessed three “shepherds” unsuccessfully move around with only 15-20 sheep. These facades are meant to cover Hizballah fighters attempting to re-establish bases in border villages.
While hundreds of Hizballah fighters are killed in Syria, the organization still has more than a third of its capacity prepared for another round of war with Israel. There are massive excavations underway in Shi’ite towns in southern Lebanon, hosting tens of thousands of rockets aimed at the Jewish state. Bulldozers and other engineering equipment are working overtime in these villages, building shelters inside villagers’ homes in order to convince them to remain during the next conflict.
The IDF believes that Hizballah intends to confront Israel in built-up civilian areas as opposed to the more open fields in 2006. By building bases of operations amongst civilians, while targeting Israeli civilians, the terrorist organization is in effect committing a double war crime. These recent developments further emphasize that the group remains committed to Israel’s destruction in spite of the other challenges it faces.
This article originally appeared at The Investigative Project on Terrorism.