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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Hezbollah slowly taking over Lebanese army - and planning new kidnappings

Mako reports an analysis by the Northern Command of the IDF on the latest from Lebanon.

According to IDF sources, the number of Shiites who are joining the Lebanese army has dramatically increased in recent years. In the past, the senior command was dominated by Christians but now some 40% of them are Shiite, and a majority of  junior officers are also pro-Hezbollah.

Also, while most of the Christians in the army are deployed in the central part of the state, the Shiites are concentrated towards the Israeli border.

Moreover, there has been a recent increase in the expansion of villages in southern Lebanon near the border with Israel. This trend intensified in the last year and a half, and many new buildings can be identified within a few hundred yards from the blue line. "Of course some of this expansion is natural, but there are exceptions where some structures we know are not innocent," said an IDF source. "There are more patrols in vehicles belonging to Hezbollah, more observations and more buildings used by the organization."

The reason is to make it easier to kidnap Israeli soldiers and hide them quickly. Even though Hezbollah has not made recent kidnap threats the way Hamas does, it is clearly still part of its strategy. The Northern Command says it is on the alert for such a scenario.

(h/t Yoel)