Israel images `show Hezbollah hiding arms in villages`

Last Updated: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 22:52

Jerusalem: The Israeli military has
published a series of aerial photographs of south Lebanon
showing what it says is evidence of Hezbollah stockpiling
weapons in towns and villages near the border.

Israel declassified the intelligence just days ahead
of the fourth anniversary of the Lebanon war, in what a
military official said was a move to expose the Lebanese
militia`s "use of civilians as human shields."
Declassified images and intelligence maps show what
the military says are bunkers and arms caches located in the
middle of al-Khiam village just four kilometres north of the
Israeli border.

One heavily marked up aerial photograph shows 15
buildings in the middle of the village which the military says
are being used as weapons stores, bunkers and operational
headquarters for the Shiite militant group.

Also marked on the map are schools, hospitals and
other public buildings, some just a few hundred metres from
the alleged weapons caches.

"They have warehouses of rockets near mosques,
schools, medical centres, in the middle of villages, and they
look like any other building," Lieutenant Colonel Avital
Leibovitz said today. "They have taken the term human shields
to a new extreme."

Leibovitz said the intelligence material showed a
shift in tactics by Hezbollah, which during the war, largely
stored its arms in rural areas or forests along the border.
"We are talking about new tactics Hezbollah has
adopted since 2006," she explained, saying that Hezbollah had
previously stored its weapons in "open areas."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 22:52

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