Hezbollah’s Massive Arms Build-up in Lebanese Civilian Areas

While new evidence unveils Iran's bankrolling of Hezbollah.

Every calendar quarter the United Nations Security Council holds an extensive debate on the Israeli-Palestinian “situation.” The Israeli and Palestinian UN representatives make speeches following the Secretary General’s report on the current status, which are normally predictable restatements of their respective positions. This time, however, Israel’s ambassador Danny Danon, addressing the Security Council at its July 12th meeting, presented new graphic evidence of Hezbollah’s alarming arsenal of rockets and missiles located in civilian areas of southern Lebanon.

Ten years ago, when Security Council Resolution 1701 was adopted, ending the war that had broken out between Israel and Hezbollah, the terrorist group was estimated to have had about 7000 rockets. The resolution called for Hezbollah and other armed groups not officially a part of the Lebanese government’s armed forces to relinquish their weapons. Instead, precisely the opposite has happened. Hezbollah never stopped its arms build-up, which has been funded and supplied principally from the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, Iran.

Hezbollah now has approximately 120,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israeli civilian population centers.  By way of comparison, Ambassador Danon said that “more missiles are hidden underground in 10,000 square kilometers [of Lebanon] than the above-ground 4 million square kilometers” of the European North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries.

Referring to aerial satellite imagery, based on the latest Israeli intelligence, Ambassador Danon demonstrated to the members of the Security Council the location of rocket launchers and arms depots that Hezbollah had placed in civilian areas. “The village of Shaqra has been turned into a Hezbollah stronghold with one out of three buildings used for terror activities, including rocket launchers and arms depots,” Ambassador Danon said.  “Hezbollah has placed these positions next to schools and other public institutions putting innocent civilians in great danger.”

Hezbollah, aided and abetted by Iran, was “committing double war crimes,” the Israeli ambassador charged. “They are attacking civilians, and using Lebanese civilians as human shields,” he said. “We demand the removal of Hezbollah terrorists from southern Lebanon.”

Not surprisingly, Ambassador Danon’s presentation of irrefutable evidence of Hezbollah’s clear and present danger to Israeli and Lebanese civilians, and his demand for Security Council action, fell on deaf ears. In her own statement that followed Ambassador Danon’s remarks, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said not a word about what was just presented regarding Hezbollah. Instead, she stuck to her canned talking points that continue to draw a moral equivalence between acts of Palestinian terrorism and Israeli self-defense. “In recent months, there’s been a steady stream of violence on both sides of the conflict,” she said. Then Ambassador Power proceeded to criticize the building of Israeli settlements, as if again to draw a moral equivalence between housing construction and terrorism. She assailed what she called Israel’s “systematic process of land seizures, settlement expansions, and legalizations of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution.” All that Ambassador Power said about Lebanon was to decry the political stalemate in electing a new president and to state that “the United States is helping the Lebanese armed forces build the capabilities necessary to counter violent extremism and protect the Lebanese people.”  If the Obama administration were truly interested in countering “violent extremism” in Lebanon and protecting the Lebanese people, it would start by doing everything possible to eliminate the violent extremist threat posed by Hezbollah’s massive rearmament. That, in turn, would require the Obama administration to reverse its appeasement course towards Iran and tighten, not loosen, the financial screws on the regime.

There is no doubt where the bulk of Hezbollah’s funding and arms is coming from. Even Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged last January Iran’s leading role in arming Hezbollah.

The terrorist organization’s chief Hasan Nasrallah boasted last month about Iran’s bankrolling its operations:

“We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Nasrallah was quoted by Hezbollah’s official Al Ahed newspaper as saying.  “As long as Iran has money we will have money. Hezbollah gets its money and arms from Iran, as long as Iran has money, so does Hezbollah. We extend gratitude to the Leader Imam, [His Eminence] Sayyed Khamenei, and to the leadership of the Islamic Republic and its government, president, scholars and people for their generous support which has never stopped.”

To add insult to injury, Nasrallah made his remarks while honoring the “martyrdom” of a top Hezbollah terrorist killed in Syria whom has been linked to the 1983 attack on the U.S. Marines barracks in Lebanon. That attack took the lives of 241 Americans. Now, Hezbollah is stronger than ever, with Iran’s “generous support.”

Iran continues to fund global terrorism, with its treasury being replenished thanks to the Obama administration’s largesse.