And the world yawns at Hizballah's country-within-a-country, complete with "the strongest armed force in Lebanon." "Israel releases army map showing nearly 1,000 purported Hezbollah underground military sites," from the Washington Post, March 31 (thanks to all who sent this in):
JERUSALEM — The Israeli military on Thursday released a map detailing what it says are nearly 1,000 underground bunkers, weapons storage facilities and monitoring sites built by the militant Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon.
Many of the sites on the map are located south of the Litani River in Lebanon, the zone where Hezbollah is banned from keeping weapons under the U.N.-sponsored truce that ended Israel’s summer 2006 war with the guerrilla group.
An article on the military spokesman’s website says Hezbollah has set up some 550 bunkers, 300 monitoring sites and 100 weapons storage facilities. The facilities are located in 270 villages, and many are located near hospitals, private homes and schools, the military said in a statement published on its website.
Where's the outrage? Not in Washington, apparently, where the Obama administration is considering reaching out to "nonmilitary components" in Hizballah and Hamas that they suppose "can be drawn into a dialogue."
Israel and Hezbollah went to war after the Lebanese guerrilla group killed three Israeli soldiers and captured two others in a cross-border raid. Although Israel inflicted heavy damage on the group, it was unable to prevent it from firing some 4,000 rockets into Israel during the monthlong conflict.
Since then, Israel has accused Hezbollah of repeatedly violating the U.N.-brokered cease-fire by restocking its arsenal and covertly moving forces into south Lebanon, near the Israeli border. The map released Thursday was meant to provide new evidence against Hezbollah.
Israel believes Hezbollah now has more than 40,000 rockets, nearly three time the pre-war level, including more powerful weapons capable of reaching Israel’s Tel Aviv heartland.
Remember also that in 2004, U.N. Resolution 1559 demanded the disarmament of all Lebanese militia groups. Hizballah is the only group from Lebanon's civil war that failed to do so. They have had seven years not only to ignore this resolution (just like almost everyone else has where Hizballah is concerned), but to build an even larger army in defiance of it.
The militant group, which controls the strongest armed force in Lebanon, did not acknowledge or deny that the Israeli map was accurate and accused Israel of employing scare tactics....