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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Apr 15th
Home arrow News Content arrow Israel keeps pressure on Syria over alleged arms smuggling to Hizbullah
Israel keeps pressure on Syria over alleged arms smuggling to Hizbullah PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 02 July 2007


BEIRUT: Israel has accused Syria of continuing to help re-arm Hizbullah in spite of the United Nations arms embargo imposed in Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended last summer's war - even as preparations to commemorate the first anniversary of the conflict take place on both sides of the border.

Israeli Defense Ministry adviser Amos Gilad told Israel Radio that Syria continues be a transit point for Iranian weapons and money to Hizbullah.

"Syria ... is allowing the Iranians, and is itself arming Hizbullah in a massive fashion, and is putting it [back] on its feet," said Gilad.

Gilad made the comments one day after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released his fourth report on 1701, urging both Syria and Iran to do more to prevent arms smuggling to Lebanon, and citing "disturbing reports" from the Lebanese and Israeli governments of alleged violations of the UN arms embargo.

Preparations by both Hizbullah and Israel have been put into motion to commemorate the passage of one year since the beginning of the summer 2006 war. The war, which began on July 12 after Hizbullah's capture of two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid prompted the Jewish state to launch a devastating air, ground and naval campaign that targeted civilian infrastructure.

The war lasted for 34 days, during which some 1,200 people killed in Lebanon, most of them civilians. About 140 Israelis, most them soldiers, were also killed in the fighting.

"We are definitely planning something," said Hizbullah spokesperson Hussein Rahal. "We will have a full program to commemorate the war, which we will reveal next week."

The Lebanese government is considering a program as well, but has yet to confirm anything official. "We are thinking of something but at the moment we have not planned anything," said a government official. "Nothing has been finalized."

Israel began its commemoration with a ceremony in Occupied Jerusalem on Sunday. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, Israeli officials also plan on holding several ceremonies in northern Israel.

Following the ceremonies, a convoy will go to the border with Lebanon in order to observe the villages of Maroun al-Ras, Aita al-Shaab and Bint Jbeil, locations where the majority of Israeli soldiers died.

In addition, they plan on visiting the point at the border where the two soldiers were captured. - With agencies.

By Nour Samaha, Daily Star staff, Monday, July 02, 2007

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