The eastern sector of south Lebanon where the explosive pits were found.
1. At 20:00 hours on December 26, 2009, a force belonging to UNIFIL’s Spanish brigade discerned the movement of suspicious individuals in an open area of Mazraat Sarda, south of the Shi’ite village of Al-Khiyam in the eastern sector of south Lebanon (about 1 kilometer, of 6/10 of a mile, from the Israeli border). The UNIFIL spokesperson reported that five men were seen fleeing the scene.
2. Searches conducted by UNIFIL forces and the Lebanese army, which also arrived at the scene, revealed a number of explosive pits containing dozens of IEDs of various types, weighing a total of about 300 kilograms, or 660 lbs. An initial investigation showed that they were not improvised devices but rather advanced, standard, industrially mass-produced bombs (in our assessment, manufactured in Iran or Syria). They were transferred to the Lebanese army by UNIFIL. Other IEDs may still be in place. A comparison of the IEDs found to those used by Hezbollah in the past against the IDF and other indications make it likely that Hezbollah was responsible for placing them near the Israeli border this time.
3. Hezbollah’s digging pits and filling them with explosives as part of its combat concept is familiar from the second Lebanon war. To that end Hezbollah dug a series of such pits in south Lebanon and located hundreds of kilograms of explosives in each. The pits were hidden underground at the sides of the main roads into Lebanon and at central junctions. A document seized during the second Lebanon war in the village of Kafr Killa detailed the explosive pit systems along the various roads, including the region of the region of the Sarda-Al-Khiyam-Burj al-Mlouk junction, where explosive pits were recently uncovered by UNIFIL.1
An explosive pit uncovered in the eastern sector of
Lebanon during the second Lebanon war.
4. This incident, like those which preceded it, proves that Hezbollah has returned to regular military-terrorist activities in the eastern sector of south Lebanon, using a modus operandi familiar from the period before the second Lebanon war. Its activities are based on the military-terrorist infrastructure it constructed in south Lebanon with the aid of Iran and Syria. Such an infrastructure and activities are in gross violation of the resolution adopted by the UN Security council on August 12, 2006 (which ended the second Lebanon war).
Examples of Hezbollah Violations of Resolution 1701
5. Following are two examples of Hezbollah violations of Security Council Resolution 1701 during 2009:
A) On July 14, 2009 there was an explosion an abandoned building on the outskirts of the village of Khirbet Silim, north of Bint Jbeil about 15 kilometers, or 9.3 miles, from the Israeli border. The building served as a warehouse for Hezbollah weapons and stored rockets, machine gun ammunition, and mortar and artillery shells.2
Aerial photograph after the explosion of the building in Khirbet Silim.
B) On October 12, 2009, an explosion occurred in the house of Hezbollah operative Sayid Issa in the village of Tair Filsay, about 15 kilometers northeast of the city of Sidon, south of the Litani River. The explosion of the house, which served as a weapons warehouse, apparently injured several people.3
The arms cache a Tair Filsay which exploded on October 12, 2009.
1 For further information see the November 2006 bulletin, "Hezbollah's use of Lebanese civilians as human shields: the extensive military infrastructure positioned and hidden in populated areas. From within the Lebanese towns and villages deliberate rocket attacks were directed against civilian targets in Israel,” pp. 171-176 at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/human_shields_efs.pdf
2 For further information see the August 3, 2009 bulletin, "Explosion in Hezbollah weapons depot in the village of Khirbet Silim exposes the existence of an active Hezbollah military infrastructure south of the Litani river” at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hezbollah_e012.pdf.
3 For further information see the October 14, 2009 bulletin, "Explosions at Hezbollah arms caches in villages south of the Litani (Tair Filsay and Khirbet Silim) prove the organization maintains an active military infrastructure in south Lebanon. UNIFIL and the Lebanese army are helpless to prevent Hezbollah’s military buildup, which is a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701” at http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/pdf/hezbollah_e014.pdf