The Times – The Next War<br/> Hezbollah is already planning to draw Israel into another conflict

Hezbollah? No but the international community got Israel to stop it’s perpetuation of the cycle of violence and the UN sent Peace Keepers. Silly Times!

What might occur if the Lebanese Cabinet falls is becoming apparent. As we report today, Hezbollah and its sympathisers have been buying up villages (often for lavish sums) in territory which was previously owned either by Christians or members of the Druze community. The sums of money involved are substantial and often paid in cash packed into suitcases. This is not idle property speculation. The pattern of this acquisition is not accidental either. These purchases will create a continuous Shia zone running from the edge of the long-disputed Shebaa Farms area all the way across to the coastline. Lebanon is in effect being physically divided by this initiative. This is terrain in which Hezbollah will soon be able to function much as it wishes. It is beyond the reach of the UN and its soldiers. It is already being described in the region as a “new Maginot Line”.

There is, though, a crucial difference. The original Maginot Line was defensive in its character. This one is not. Hezbollah is in effect preparing for the next war, which is one that it would initiate. There is already evidence that this organisation has been seeking to restock its arsenal with more sophisticated missiles than the relatively primitive rockets which it directed towards villages inside Israel last year but often missed their targets. It is widely suspected that Iran is the principal supplier of this hardware and that Syria is actively allowing these weapons to be transported across its borders. Hezbollah could, therefore, be in a position by this summer in which it could fire missiles over the land south of the Litani river, which is controlled by the UN force, and strike at Israeli civilians. The domestic pressure on Israel to respond by bombing would be huge.

Sorry, “domestic pressure”? You bomb my country and I only respond because of “domestic pressure”? I can hear Churchill now, “Never in the field of human conflict has domestic pressure been so strong to respond…”

The absence of overt activity in the vicinity of the Israel-Lebanon boundary has led some commentators to suggest that Hezbollah might want to act in a less confrontational fashion. The clear implication of these land deals across southern Lebanon is that it has no such benign intentions.

Really. Who knew.