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Nervous Israel prepares for war with Hezbollah

- The Washington Times - Friday, March 8, 2013

Israeli's military is watching the Syrian conflict with a wary eye, concerned about spillover and actively preparing for battle against the Lebanon-based Islamic militant group, Hezbollah.

The border between Israel and Lebanon has been mostly quiet since 2006, when battle between Hezbollah militants and Israeli forces wrapped in a draw, The Times of Israel reports. Israeli forces see the intensifying conflict between Syrian rebel and government fighters as a springboard to Hezbollah uprising, however.

The Times of Israel reports the fall of President Bashar Assad — or an Israeli strike against Hezbollah ally Iran — could prove the final straw that leads to outright war.

"There is an increase in tension because of Syria," a senior commander in the military's Northern Command said about a possible battle with Hezbollah, in The Times of Israel.

Israel and Hezbollah have an official truce. But Israel says the militant group has been bolstering its stock of rockets and missiles by tens of thousands, and experts think it's only a matter of time before Hezbollah carries out an open strike, igniting the next war.

Israeli forces are now engaged in military exercises in preparation of such a war, The Times of Israel reports.

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