In July 2006, Hezbollah terrorists infiltrated the Lebanon-Israel border. Hezbollah, backed by Iran fired on two IDF jeeps and detonated explosives nearby. Eight Israeli soldiers were killed in the attacks, two were abducted, and the Hezbollah infiltrators fired thousands of rockets and mortar shells into communities in northern Israel.
Over the period of a month, 44 Israeli civilians and 119 IDF soldiers were killed by Hezbollah. Remains of the two captured reservists, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, were exchanged for prisoners two years later. [Haaretz ]
It is thought that Hezbollah has at least 500 Iranian Zelzal guided missiles with a range of up to 186 miles, and over 40,000 other rockets. Iran continues to smuggle arms through Syria, into Lebanon and it is estimated that Hezbollah is now better armed than it was in 2006.
Some of the money to fund the arms smuggling comes from the US and Canada. Some came from a cigarette and viagra smuggling operation, which has now been shut down. In 2007, the US Treasury shut down the Goodwill Charitable Organization and the Martyrs’ Foundation because they were aiding Hezbollah. Hezbollah in South America engages in arms smuggling, drug smuggling, human trafficking and US currency counterfeiting. The border areas of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay have a lot of this activity.
It was expected by some, that the change of government in the US would bring about a big change in the middle east. Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah appears not to agree with that, accusing Vice President Biden and President Obama of manipulating the Lebanese election.
Three years on, Hezbollah rhetoric and Iran-Syria-Hezbollah linkage have changed little. Changes include Hezbollah’s extended reach south of the open US border and the number of weapons controlled by Hezbollah.