'Hizbullah is ready for another war'

Group's deputy leader says manpower drafted, rocket arsenal replenished.

jp.services2 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
"Hizbullah has rebuilt itself and is prepared for another Israeli strike," Naim Kassem, the deputy secretary general of the Iranian-backed terror organization told Al Jazeera TV on Saturday. "We have completed the groundwork necessary and we have new battle plans," Kassem added. Kassem went on to say that Hizbullah was not expecting another round of fighting against Israel but that the organization was preparing itself nevertheless. Kassem also denied that his organization paid off or received intelligence reports from former MK Azmi Bishara during the Second Lebanon War. He said that the Israeli government was trying to divert attention from its own failures during the war, by placing blame on Bishara. A high-ranking Lebanese official said that Hizbullah had been rearming itself at an accelerated pace. "All that Hizbullah has achieved in six years, since Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon, it has now managed to gain in only six months," the official was quoted by Army Radio as saying, adding that "Hizbullah renewed its rocket arsenal and built new concrete bunkers north of the Litani River and on the eastern border of Lebanon." UN resolution 1701, passed at the end of the fighting last August, called on Hizbullah to completely cease rearming. Captured IDF reservists, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, whose unconditional release was also demanded by resolution 1701, are still held by Hizbullah. Sheera Claire Frenkel contributed to this report.