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June 5, 2013 11:46 am

Hezbollah Trying to Open New Front on Golan, Israel Says

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Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz (R) in action during a live fire exercise for Israeli army battalion commanders taking place in the Golan Heights, Sept. 4, 2012. Syrian tanks entered the Golan Heights demilitarized zone, raising concerns that the ongoing civil war could spill over into Israel. After Syrian tanks entered the Golan's demilitarized zone Nov. 3, 2012. Photo: SHAY WAGNER/IDF/FLASH90. Israeli defense officials believe Hezbollah has been trying to establish a strategic foothold in the Syrian Golan Heights to facilitate attacks on Israel from that area, Israel Hayom reported.

Although the organization still has a long way to go before it has a permanent presence in the area, its leader, Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, has recently indicated the existence of such a plan.

Hezbollah may have concluded that the ongoing instability and the incessant battles between the Syrian rebels and the regime loyalists in the Golan Heights presents a fleeting opportunity to establish a base of operations in the area before it falls under the control of the rebels, should that happen.

While Israeli officials believe Hezbollah’s new infrastructure would not be set up “overnight,” according to Israel Hayom, they stress that Hezbollah is determined to put this plan into action as part of its efforts to prop up the Syrian regime with the help of Iran.

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