Hizballah Rearming & Rebuilding Underground Bunkers Near Israel
September 28, 2006

New York – Lebanese officials have disclosed that the Islamist terrorist group, Hizballah, is moving rockets into Palestinian camps in southern Lebanon and rebuilding its network of bunkers just a few miles from the Israeli border only weeks since the conclusion of the recent Lebanon war. The officials said that the office of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Sinora sent a letter last week to Abbas Zakir, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) most senior representative in Lebanon, indicating that Hizballah weapons were being transferred to Palestinian camps and noting “unusual activity” in and near the Palestinian camps, including the coming and going of trucks suspected of carrying weapons.

The Lebanese officials were also quoted as saying that Hizballah, with the help of Iran, has commenced building underground war bunkers in Lebanon’s Palestinian camps. Palestinian groups, including PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) maintain armed bases in Lebanon, mostly in the al-Naemeh province just south of Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley, near Lebanon’s border with Syria and Israel. According to an unnamed senior Lebanese official, “The Lebanese Army doesn’t have the authority to patrol inside the camps … Hizballah knows it is safe there to rebuild their war bunkers, and they began doing so with Iranian help” (Yediot Ahronot, September 26).

Hizballah is committed to Israel’s destruction and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has confessed genocidal ambitions, stating in 2002 that “If they (Jews) all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide” (The Daily Star [Beirut], October 23, 2002). Hizballah launched an unprovoked assault on Israel in July which resulted in a 34-day war in which Israel counter-attacked against Hizballah in Lebanon and ceased fire only after the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1701 (UNSC 1701). The Resolution did not mention, much less condemn Syria and Iran, the main supporters of Hizballah, and set no timetable for the disarmament of Hizballah. The Resolution “calls upon the Government of Lebanon and [United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] … to deploy their forces together throughout the South” but sets no timetable or mechanism to oversee the disarming of Hizballah. According to international legal scholar and Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Anne Bayefsky, the Resolution designed “a force for southern Lebanon incapable of disarming Hezbollah” (National Review Online, August 14).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA predicted at the time that UNSC 1701 was a flawed and defective resolution that failed to punish the aggressors and provide for the verifiable and efficient disarmament of Hizballah and recent reports about the rearming of Hizballah and its new program of constructing war bunkers close to Israel is conclusive evidence of these failures. In these circumstances, the Bush Administration must bring all possible pressure to bear on Lebanon and the UN forces to disarm Hizballah. The Bush Administration should further declare that Lebanon is accountable for military activities within Palestinian camps and indeed throughout Lebanese territory and cannot be permitted to allow terrorist groups to re-establish and entrench themselves.”

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