Israel Army
In picture: Israeli soldiers from the Nahal Infantry Brigade take part in an urban warfare drill at an army base near Arad, southern Israel February 8, 2017.Reuters File Photo

The Israeli Army has begun the construction a training facility that is the replica of Lebanese village. Located at the Snir training facility in Golan heights, the facility is expected to serve as training grounds for Israeli soldiers in case there is war with the Hezbollah of Lebanon.

A Press TV report said, quoting Israeli media: "The centre will have multiple entry points, a mock Hezbollah command-and-control headquarters, residential buildings, mosques, and public buildings. It will be large enough to accommodate tanks and allow the use of live ammunition."

Israeli Brigadier General Einav Shalev has reportedly said that the facility — which is expected to be ready by 2018-end — is "meant to prepare Israeli soldiers for urban warfare, including subterranean combat."

Another Israel Army official has said on condition of anonymity that similar facilities — at least three more — will be built in future to ensure that the military can get used to them and become more adept at taking on the Hezbollah. He described the upcoming facility as "a Lebanese village, showing the Lebanese challenge, which is growing greater."

The official also said: " In the village, there are people acting as enemy fighters, who are very close to the types of threats that we expect from Hezbollah in the next round." Israel — which is already targeting the Hezbollah with airstrikes — is apparently planning to take the fight to the ground and at closer quarters now. 

The fresh tactic may be a signal that Israel has not forgotten the defeat it suffered at the hands of the Hezbollah in 2000, when it had to pull out of South Lebanon. The Islamist group's paramilitary wing has grown to an extent that it is considered stronger than the Israeli Army. Perhaps that is why Israel is taking some extra steps to ensure that the next time it fights the Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Islamist group does not have the advantage that is knowledge of the local terrain.