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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Israeli Army Sizes Up Hezbollah

JERUSALEM -- Israel's new army chief said Wednesday that Israel might have to confront Hezbollah to halt the group's attempts to rearm after last summer's war in Lebanon.

Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi said Israel delivered a tough blow to Hezbollah during the 34-day war, but that the group and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, were rapidly trying to refortify the militia.

"I think we all understand that ... [Nasrallah] is not able to do the things that he could do before," Ashkenazi said. "We see here and there smuggling and other things to bring weapons," he said. "We are following this and we apparently have to deal with this."

Israeli officials have expressed concern recently that United Nations forces deployed in Lebanon as part of the Aug. 14 cease-fire that ended the war have not stopped Syria from continuing to transfer weapons across its border with Lebanon to Hezbollah.

"The United Nations has to stop the weapons smuggling to Hezbollah and in our opinion they have not done enough," Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres told the Yediot Ahronot newspaper this week during a tour along the border with Lebanon.

Hezbollah currently possesses more than 10,000 short-range rockets, down from between 12,000 and 14,000 before the war, according to Israeli intelligence estimates, Yediot reported. Weapons are constantly coming across the border from Syria, the daily said.

Israeli troops shot and killed on Wednesday a West Bank leader of the Islamic Jihad militant group who was involved in an attempted bombing near Tel Aviv, the army said.

Mahmoud Abu Obeid, 24, was traveling in a vehicle in the center of Jenin when undercover Israeli troops shot and killed him, Palestinian witnesses said.