Military sources in Tel Aviv said Thursday that Hezbollah’s “Al-Rudwan Unit” has established in the past six months, 30 new watchtowers at the Lebanese-Israeli border, forcing the Israeli army to take several secret and open measures to confront them.
The 18-meter-high towers are manned 24 hours a day by Hezbollah members, the sources said. From there, Hezbollah men can overlook the 140-km borders from Ras al-Naqoura in the west to Jabal al-Sheikh in the east, they added, also revealing that the towers are twice longer than the Israeli border fence.
Israel admits that the watchtowers were built as a response to the Israeli Army’s construction of a defensive wall along the borders.
However, the Israeli government complains to the UN Security Council, accusing the neighboring country of violating Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war and which prohibited Lebanon from conducting any activities along the border fence.
Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said Thursday that Israelis along the borderline complain that Hezbollah soldiers were harassing them.
Citing the Chief of the Metula settlement Council David Azulai, the paper said, “Hezbollah believes that Israel has become weak due to the demonstrations (against the government of PM Benjamin Netanyahu). Therefore, it persists in its provocations.”
He said: “Only this morning, a truck at the border unloaded a large quantity of cowpat which has a suffocating odor. This is indeed an environmental warfare.”
The chief recalled that in the past months, Hezbollah members were harassing Israeli civilians of the Metula community by shining laser pointers at their houses and cars. He wondered why the army had failed to respond to such provocations.
“We feel that Hezbollah is reinforcing at the border, just like the situation before 2006 because they sense our weakness,” Azulai said.
Head of Mevo'ot Hermon Regional Council Beni Ben Muvhar said that he and the residents of the towns extending on the northeastern region of the Galilee are very concerned about the security situation.
“The Israeli army says it is closely acquainted with Hezbollah’s activities, but the situation is worrying. Hezbollah dares to send a young man from its side to detonate an explosive device inside Israel. A while ago, one of the party's activists was seen attacking an Israeli soldier and snatching his weapon,” Ben Muvhar said.
He added that it was possible to “hear the noise of hammers and the shouts of four Hezbollah men, meters from the border, throughout the settlement yesterday.”
Ben Muvhar said the Hezbollah members raised the tower to about 18 meters after stopping every few minutes to take a break and drink coffee.
On the Israeli side, he said, a few meters away from the Hezbollah towers, heavy trucks unloaded more concrete pillars, which will obstruct the view of the Israeli towns and replace the old fence.