Hizballah massing forces in southern Lebanon

Friday, July 18, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Lebanon's Hizballah terrorist militia is increasing its armed presence in towns and villages across the south of the country in preparation for renewed conflict with Israel, reported The Jerusalem Post.

Patrols by a large United Nations peacekeeping force has largely prevented Hizballah from setting up bases of operations in nature reserves and forested areas as before the 2006 Second Lebanon War. But the mandate of the international troops prevents them from entering Lebanese villages, so Hizballah has taken to buying property in the communities and moving even more of its weapons behind the cover of the civilian population.

The news comes just days after Israel concluded a lopsided prisoner exchange with Hizballah. Israeli defense officials said intelligence suggested Hizballah would renew hostilities against the Jewish state following the swap. Israeli forces are on heightened alert along the northern border.

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