"Hizbullah has arranged for the firing of rockets by Palestinian groups
to test the Lebanese and Israeli reaction to an escalation," another
intelligence analyst said. "It is acting cautiously but steadily toward
another confrontation [with Israel]."
The sources said Hizbullah has also been transferring command and
logistics assets from Beirut to the Bekaa Valley and near the Litani River
in southern Lebanon. Hizbullah was also said to have summoned many of its
technical experts based in Iran.
Israel's military has been alarmed by the renewed attacks from southern
Lebanon. The military was said to have assessed that Hizbullah, with
permission from Iran, was directing the anonymous rocket attacks in
cooperation with the Syrian-sponsored Popular Front for the Liberation of
"The IDF Northern Command is holding ongoing security assessments in
light of the situation," the Israeli military said on Jan. 14. "We view the
Lebanese government and military as responsible to prevent such attacks."
The sources said Iran approved the Hizbullah rocket fire on the eve of
the arrival of Barack Obama as the new president of the United States. They
said the Teheran regime had maintained quiet along the Israeli-Lebanese
border for more than two years to avoid a confrontation with outgoing U.S.
President George Bush.
"Hizbullah has waited a long time for this, and now has permission from
Iran to change the rules of the game," the source said.
The intelligence sources said Hizbullah has constructed a huge military
infrastructure in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. They said
Hizbullah, with an arsenal of 42,000 missiles and rockets, has been on high
alert amid the Hamas war and stepped up activity near the Israeli border.
Hizbullah has deployed many of its military assets in bunkers in the
mountainous areas of central and eastern Lebanon, the sources said. They
said Hizbullah prefers to draw Israel into a battle near the Syrian border,
expected to result in military intervention by Damascus.
"The decision of the extent of the Hizbullah escalation will be made in
Teheran, and the leadership doesn't appear to have decided yet," the