Israel forms new battalion to fight Hezbollah

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A new Israeli military battalion will be charged with providing the first line of defense for citizens in Israel’s north, who face the threat of the Hezbollah terror group operating from Lebanon.

The new battalion – named Shaarei Ha’esh, “Gates of Fire” – will specialize in fighting the Iranian-backed Shiite terror group in the Galilee and protecting local residents and military posts close to Lebanon, as well as attacking Hezbollah inside of Lebanon. It will serve under the IDF’s regional Baram Brigade and will be comprised of reservists from the Golani Infantry Brigade’s Reconnaissance Battalion. The group has already performed its first major training exercise.

Israel has recently emphasized its efforts to ward off attacks by Hezbollah, including Operation Northern Shield, which was aimed at finding and destroying large terror tunnels which were believed to be dug by the group from Lebanon to Israel as a means of enabling hundreds of Hezbollah fighters to infiltrate the Jewish State in a future war.

Officials believe that Hezbollah possesses an arsenal of some 100,000 to 150,000 rockets and missiles, and reports suggest that the terror group was in the process of upgrading many of them to precision-guided missiles when Israel bombed a shipment of related technology from Iran in December.