As Hezbollah Rearms; Israel Stands Ready

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ISRAELI/LEBANESE BORDER -- This week, Israel's Defense Force gave a demonstration of its Merkeva tank, considered by many the best battle tank in the world.

Despite its abilities, Hezbollah damaged or destroyed several of these tanks during the 2006 Lebanon War. The Israeli army says it has learned important lessons from that war.

"We learned how to communicate better between tanks and infantry and air force and engineers," said Major Eldad Biran of the SAAR Armored Battalion. "We learned how to use the advantage of the Israeli army better and how to better use our high-tech equipment."

Israel might possess a high-tech advantage over Hezbollah, but the recent Winograd Commission report called the war a "missed opportunity," because Israel failed to defeat Hezbollah.

Nearly two years ago, Hezbollah fighters and Israeli soldiers battled on the Lebanese border. Despite a 34-day war, some believe the threat from Hezbollah remains as strong as ever.

In fact, Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak says he believes Hezbollah has nearly doubled the number of missiles it had before the war. Hezbollah certainly hasn't given up its goals. Last week, Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah declared the destruction of Israel is certain.

"It's enough to hear Nasrallah's speeches say that he's already re-gained the number of rockets and missiles he had before the war to understand his directions," said the IDF's Major Avital Leibovich. "He also keeps on declaring his intentions of kidnapping soldiers, so we understand that Hezbollah's face is not toward peace and we're alert accordingly."

While the IDF stays on alert, Israel and the world will be watching to see how Hezbollah reacts to the recent assassination of its leading terrorist, Imad Mughniyah. He was one of the masterminds behind Hezbollah's strategy against Israel in 2006. Hezbollah is clearly preparing for another war with Israel and the Israeli Defense Force knows they will have to be ready.

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Chris Mitchell

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