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December 5, 2013

Hezbollah Video Games Targeting Youth Promote War Against Israel

Hezbollah has launched a website for children “ages 11 and above” featuring games that simulate Hezbollah missions against Israel from the terrorist organizations perspective dating back to 1982.hezbollah-video-game-adl

Players can take part in simulated missions from 1982, 1986, 1996, 1999 and 2000. The website says that “The games…are not random. Their goals are to strengthen the culture of resistance.”

Each game is made up of three levels requiring players to shoot with period-appropriate weapons ranging from machine guns to Katyusha rockets to tanks. Players also undertake other actions such as figuring out codes to disable radar and advancing on targets in the face of opposing fire.

The website, launched in November, also features videos produced by Hezbollah’s satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion Al Manar. The videos provide players with Hezbollah’s narratives on the conflicts.

  • In the 1986 game, players advance on a fortified hill to an Israeli outpost using a variety of weapons until they are able to kill all the Israeli soldiers, take control of the outpost and seize ammunition and equipment.
  • In the 1999 game, players must first disable monitoring equipment before they can explode a roadside bomb to destroy a convoy transporting Israeli General Erez Gerstein.
  • The 2000 game involves firing rockets into Israeli territory to kill Israeli soldiers on patrol.

Hezbollah has previously produced video games; in 2003, it began selling a game called “Special Force,” which was followed in 2007 by “Special Force 2.” Both depicted attacks against Israelis. Hezbollah claimed that the original Special Force sold over 10,000 copies internationally, in locations ranging frospecial-force-hezbollahm Lebanon and Syria to Canada, Germany and Australia.

The new games, which are available for free through Hezbollah’s main website, had attracted nearly 350 “likes” on an associated Facebook page, primarily from Lebanese young adults aged 18-34, with many others likely playing directly on the website. The Facebook page was apparently removed on December 3 or 4 but has since been recreated.

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