As-Safir’s exentive report on Hezbolah military positions in South Lebanon a signal of the coming challenge to 1701 regime
Below is a partial translation from the leftist Lebanese daily As-Safir. This particular report May 22 was hit on repeatedly by the Israeli media and the government in its renewed campaign these last few weeks to pave the way for the “Dahiye Doctrine” at some point in the future, if another Hezbollah-Israel war comes to pass.
The argument over the positioning of Hezbollah military assets in and around civilian areas is not actually the main, interesting issue that needs to be looked at with this piece. In fact, using just this piece one would assume that the bulk of Hezbollah’s assets are NOT positioned in civilian populated areas but in the many wilderness areas and mountainous areas. Undoubtedly, some Hezbollah fighters/village guard units and stores and perhaps firing positions are in fact located in civilian populated areas – surely – but this becomes a tough argument for the Israelis to win in front of various publics when the bombing starts since many journalists have pointed out that Israeli military facilities are ALSO sited in and around… civilian populated areas. The IDF HQ is but one example usually cited in this back and forth argument where the moral high-ground is difficult for any of the parties to reach.
For me what was particularly interesting about the report is the way in which Hezbollah is – for the first time in a while if I remember correctly – prepared to flout the 1701 framework by touring journalists through fixed facilities and positions in the area of operations.
This goes way beyond even a one off type attack from 1701 terrain a la January 2015…. this, I think, is but one indication of a major, impending challenge to the whole 1701 regime in the coming period.
HEADLINE:”As-Safir with the resistance men in the homeland of victory; model tunnels, constant readiness, five seconds to rain rockets on Israel.”
The report says that the tunnel visited “lies on a very sensitive and advanced border position,” adding that “anyone visiting the southern border and meeting the resistance men realizes that Hezbollah’s main intention of confronting the Israeli danger has not changed.” It argues: “It is wrong to think that the positioned fighters defy boredom with entertainment or long waits. They reduced several years into months and decades into years, for the war will start one day. Therefore, work on building reinforcements and new tunnels continues around the clock. Digging is manual with primitive tools to avert attention. The dirt that is dug up is filled in bags and taken away to a relatively distant area to be scattered across the fields and covered with tree leaves to absorb with nature. Keeping them in bags could attract the enemy’s attention.”
The report suggests: “The enemy discovered the effectiveness of the tunnels during the July  war, but the method has developed since. The kind of concrete has changed. The method of ventilation and packing of weapons and food has changed. Electricity is available 24 hours a day through underground generators.” It continues to say that “the air in the tunnel is no different than outdoors. Humidity suction devices to protect the steel from rusting are there. So are the ventilation devices and emergency exits on the left and right side.” It adds that the rockets are packaged with anti-humidity substances and vacuumed in nylon material. “The concerned did not forget to leave razor blades next to the packaged rockets to allow the fighter to quickly open them during a moment of war,” according to the report.