(JNS.org) More than 10,000 Hezbollah fighters participated in a military exercise last week including defense tactics and “preparations to conquer the Upper Galilee,” according to a report in the Lebanese newspaper Al-Joumhouria that was quoted by the Jerusalem Post.
Israeli security analysts believe that Hezbollah is preparing in coordination with Iran. “In his last two speeches, [Hezbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah indicated that he would join an Iranian counter-strike if Israel struck Iran’s nuclear program,” said Dr. Ely Karmon, a senior researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center’s Institute for Counter-Terrorism.
Karmon reiterated the seriousness of Hezbollah’s threats about invading northern Israel. “I wouldn’t belittle the claim that they will try and penetrate the Galilee,” he said. “Even if they hold a small village for 24 hours, it would allow them to score points against the IDF.”
Yoram Schweitzer, a researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, echoed Karmon’s concerns. “They can send small assault teams into the Galilee... while everyone is busy with attacks in Lebanon,” Schweitzer said.
According to the report, 2,000 elite Hezbollah fighters will continue training in Iran. Hezbollah and its patrons, Iran and Syria, have come under increasing pressure due to the uprisings in Syria and international sanctions against Iran.