From FoxNews.com, December 2, 2009, by Michael Tobin:
Lebanon ’s new government just took a game changing step in the event of another military conflict with Israel . It involves Hezbollah being folded into the Government of the new Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
The Prime Minister answered Hezbollah’s demand and backed the groups’ demand to keep all of its weapons. Hezbollah says the weapons are for the purpose of deterring an Israeli invasion.
This puts Lebanon in a conflict with the U.S. and French sponsored U.N. resolution 1559 – which calls for the disarmament of all groups in Lebanon other than the Army.
From Israel ’s perspective, it puts the Lebanese government in an alliance with the armed wing of Hezbollah.
Mark Regev, spokesman for Israel ’s Prime Minister says, “Any attack from Hezbollah will be seen by Israel as an attack from the Lebanese state.” In the 2nd Lebanon war more than 1000 Lebanese were killed, most of them civilian. The damage to infrastructure was significant and more than 1 million Lebanese were displaced form their homes. According to Israel , these painful figures will only increase now if there is a 3rd Lebanon war because the entire state becomes a target.
“In the 2nd Lebanon war, a strategic decision was made that Lebanon was not the target,” says Regev. “ Israel made the distinction between Hezbollah and Lebanese.”
Hezbollah is now said to possess 40,000 rockets in Lebanon . The weapons stockpile is reported to be larger than it was at the start of the 2nd Lebanon war in July of 2006.