Jerusalem – The Middle East Newsline has confirmed that Israel’s military has determined that the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah has become an increased strategic threat to the Jewish state.

The Israeli intelligence community, including Israeli military intelligence, has deemed Hezbollah a strategic threat to Israel. Hezbollah has reached the capability to strike virtually every strategic Israeli asset, including the strategic nuclear facility in Dimona, with rockets.

“Hezbollah has become a powerful military although it operates much like a guerrilla force,” an Israeli official said. “Iran and Syria have made Hezbollah the front line of any war against Israel.”

On Nov. 6, Israel’s military concluded its first exercise to test the readiness of the reserves and General Staff. The four-day exercise envisioned a Hezbollah and Syrian strike on northern Israel.

Hezbollah has accumulated an arsenal of more than 40,000 missiles and rockets, many of them with a range of more than 137 miles.

It can therefore strike every major Israeli city.

Hezbollah was also said to have established a military presence in much of Lebanon, including the Bekaa Valley, Beirut, south as well as the area north of Beirut.

This would require a greater effort by the Israel Air Force and the rest of the military than during the 2006 war.

Hezbollah has taken control over most of the Lebanese military. It says this would allow Hezbollah to use Lebanese military assets, such as air defense systems and helicopters, in any war with Israel.

“In the field, the Lebanese Army and Hezbollah work together,” an Israeli official said. “In the south, Hezbollah operates in civilian clothes while the military is in uniform. But their activities are completely coordinated.”

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com.

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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: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.