TEL AVIV – Hezbollah said Wednesday that it was digging tunnels along the border with Israel and has succeeded in creating a “balance of terror,” making southern Lebanon “the most secure region in the entire Middle East.”
Despite incurring heavy losses in Syria, Hezbollah is confident that it is set to become a “regional power” that will “formulate new equations in the region.”
The remarks were made in the pro-Hezbollah Al-Safir daily and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on the 16th anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon, which Hezbollah terms “Liberation Day.”
“Israel cannot ignore … the strengthening of the security and stability equation on both sides of the Palestine-Lebanon border,” the article reads.
“Anyone who thinks the organization’s presence in Syria comes at the expense of our presence here in the heart of the south is mistaken. Israel is well aware of this, and if it weren’t, it would not hesitate to take advantage of the opportunity,” a separate Al-Safir report claims.
“It is right to say that the men of resistance on the eastern border complement the mission of the first men of resistance [who fight Israel], who work day and night [along the border] … conducting observations, preparing, and digging tunnels that cause the settlers and enemy soldiers to lose sleep.”
The Hezbollah mouthpiece also said the terror group has built a sprawling network of underground bunkers powered by generators and housing tens of thousands of rockets to be used against Israel.
“The war has not yet arrived, but it could arrive one of these days,” the report says.
Although the accuracy of Al-Safir‘s reports is highly questionable, a senior Israeli intelligence official confirmed last week that Hezbollah has cached an enormous arsenal of rockets including 100,000 short-range rockets capable of striking northern Israel, several thousand missiles that can reach Tel Aviv and central Israel and hundreds more that can strike the entire country.
According to the official, most of the weapons are being transferred to Lebanon from the Syrian government and Iran – Hezbollah’s key allies. He added that over 200 villages have been turned into Hezbollah “military strongholds.”