The authoritative Middle East Newsline reports that Israeli intelligence has confirmed and disclosed that Hezbollah succeeded in digging bunkers into Israeli territory without the knowledge of the Israel Defense Forces.

Military sources said the Israeli military found two bunkers dug by Hezbollah within Israeli territory. The bunkers, believed to have been constructed over the last 18 months, were destroyed on Friday.

“In the past two days, IDF [Israel Defense Forces] units conducted searches in Israeli territory beyond the security fence, along the western part of the international border with Lebanon,” a military statement said on Friday. “The forces uncovered two connected bunkers which had been used by the Hezbollah terrorist organization, apparently as a forward base for its operations.”

The statement said the military found food, shovels and other equipment in the Hezbollah bunkers. The military’s engineering unit destroyed the underground facilities.

The Israeli military did not say how Hezbollah was able to construct the bunkers inside Israel. The sources said the bunkers were part of a huge Hezbollah tunnel network that fired Katyusha rockets into Israel throughout the 34-day war in mid-2006. Hezbollah fired 4,500 short- and medium-range rockets, many of them from positions within one kilometer of the Israeli border.

Israeli officers stressed that their search for Hezbollah tunnels was limited to Israeli territory. They did not rule out the prospect of additional Hezbollah bunkers inside Israel.

“The goal of the search operation was to prevent Hezbollah terrorists from returning to posts they manned before the recent war,” the statement said. “The operation is part of the IDF’s new operational conduct along Israel’s northern border, a result of the recent war aimed to increase the effectiveness of defensive activity in the area.”

Palestinian Factions Seek To Form Army

Palestinian militias, on the basis of a recommendation by neighboring Egypt, have agreed to form an army.

Palestinian Authority officials said Egypt has offered to help in the formation of a Palestinian army that would bolster national unity. They said Hamas and other Palestinian militias have agreed to the proposal as a way to end the militia war in the Gaza Strip.

“We support changing the security establishment,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said. “We have long called for the establishment of a new, improved security framework.”

On Tuesday, President George Bush approved $86 million for Palestinian Authority security services. Officials said the U.S. funding would target security agencies loyal to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

PA Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahhar said Egypt proposed the formation of a national army during Fatah-Hamas reconciliation talks in January. Zahar said the Egyptian proposal called for the army to recruit Palestinians from all factions. In 2006, Hamas launched plans to form a 10,000-man army.

On Tuesday, Fatah and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip after the death of 34 people in clashes since last Thursday. A Hamas commander was killed in an attack in Gaza City by the Fatah-aligned Preventive Security Apparatus.

Fatah has welcomed the Egyptian proposal of a Palestinian army that would unite the factions. The movement, loyal to Abbas, said this would require the dismantling of Hamas-controlled agencies.

“We are calling on everybody to unite their efforts for the security bodies to be under one leadership, no matter who the leadership is,” Fatah spokesman Jamal Nazzal said. “What is important is to have one security body.”

Nazzal said Fatah has sought the transfer of the Interior Ministry’s Executive Force into other security services of the PA. He said that unlike the EF, the other PA security forces were established on a national basis.

“The security services have paid a heavy price for a commitment to protect their homeland’s security, and interests against the abusers who pulled out the keys to both peace and war from the hands of the elected authority,” Nazzal said. “Instead, they committed themselves to an Islamic state which doesn’t even recognize Palestine.”

©The Bulletin 2007


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.