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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Israel to ratchet up effort to stop Syria-Lebanon arms smuggling
Israel to ratchet up effort to stop Syria-Lebanon arms smuggling PDF Print E-mail
Written by Barak Ravid, Haaretz   
Monday, 21 July 2008

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Israel has gathered and conveyed to the defense ministries of European countries intelligence showing the increasing strength of Hezbollah in Lebanon, thanks to the arms smuggling that is continuing via Syria. Similar information was delivered to the United Nations during a visit to New York a month ago by Brig. Gen. Yossi Beiditz, head of research at Military Intelligence (MI).

Israel is very frustrated, says a political source, because the phenomenon of arms smuggling is not sufficiently addressed in relevant UN reports, including the most recent one three weeks ago, nor is it fully acknowledged in European capitals - particularly in countries that are contributing contingents to the peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon.

Israel has closely followed Hezbollah's rearmament since the signing of the cease-fire agreement after the Second Lebanon War, but last week became even more adamant about the need to put a stop to the arms smuggling.
 
Following a cabinet meeting on the subject last week, a decision was made to seek diplomatic means for bringing an end to this activity.

Meanwhile, MI Chief Amos Yadlin warned cabinet ministers yesterday that there is a chance Hezbollah guerrillas may attempt a terror attack on Israel's northern front in the near future.

According to Yadlin, Hezbollah views certain matters as unfinished business - namely, the disputed border territories of Shaba Farms and the divided village of Ghajar, as well as Israel Air Force overflights of Lebanon. Militants may use these issues as an excuse to carry out attacks, he said.

Yadlin added that now that the prisoner exchange with Hezbollah has taken place, the defense establishment is concerned that the organization may embark on a calculated, escalated show of force along the Lebanese border, and try to disrupt the Israeli flyovers.

Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah declared last Wednesday that the group would now try to free the Lebanese land still occupied by Israel.

"Our worry now is to free the rest of our lands ... protect our water and our sovereignty and our honor," he said, calling the prisoner release a victory for the resistance.

Israel's Army Radio reported that Hezbollah also announced on Saturday that it would attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers again, according to statements made by the deputy head of the Lebanese Shi'ite militia, Sheikh Naim Qassem.

Meanwhile, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported last week that Hezbollah has deployed sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles in the mountains of central Lebanon, in order to threaten IAF flights.

Hezbollah identified this aerial activity as its own weak spot: The IAF carried out attacks deep in Lebanon, and special forces reached the Lebanon Valley via helicopter. 

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1003750.html



 
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