Report: Hizbullah rebuilding forces n. of Litani

Hizbullah is building up forces north of the Litani river in anticipation of another potential war with Israel, the London Times reported on Monday. According to the report, Hizbullah guerrillas have begun to gather in the area, which is outside the area patrolled by UNIFIL troops, with the apparent aim of creating a Shi'ite-controlled buffer that would allow the organization to avoid notice while it continues to operate. The group is reportedly being aided in its enterprise by Shi'ite businessman Ali Tajiddine, a diamond trader with close ties to Hizbullah, who has begun buying large tracts of land from Christian and Druse owners to serve as Hizbullah's base of operations. "The state of Hizbullah is already in existence in south Lebanon," Druse Lebanese MP and Hizbullah opponent Walid Jumblatt was quoted as saying.