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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Report: Hezbollah planning to 'force' IAF to cease overflights
Report: Hezbollah planning to 'force' IAF to cease overflights PDF Print E-mail
Written by Yoav Stern and Amos Harel, Haaretz   
Friday, 01 August 2008

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Hezbollah is planning to take "practical measures" to counter Israel air force overflights of Lebanon, according to Thursday's edition of the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which is considered sympathetic to the Shi'ite group.

It quoted a source who said that Hezbollah is "close to adopting practical measures that will force Israel to cease the overflights."

The report is in line with Israeli intelligence assessments that predicted that following the completion of the Israel-Hezbollah prisoner swap, Hezbollah would seek excuses to resume its struggle against Israel in order to justify its refusal to disarm.

 
 

Hezbollah has cultivated an image as Lebanon's "protector" against what it describes as Israeli aggression.

There have been a number of reports in the Arab media recently on the planned deployment of anti-aircraft missile batteries in the Lebanese mountains, whose purpose would be to disrupt the flights of Israeli aircraft over the country.

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said recently that the group would adopt a new "defensive strategy" in Lebanon, with the cooperation of the country's other political groups.

Israeli military sources believe that Hezbollah is planning to alter its military policy toward Israel by carrying out operations inside Lebanon rather than along the border, in order to bolster its legitimacy among the Lebanese public.

On Wednesday, for the first time since the Second Lebanon War, the organization published a condemnation of Israeli overflights and said that those responsible for stopping them are the government in Beirut and the United Nations. It accused Israel of violating Lebanese sovereignty by flying into its airspace and sailing into its territorial waters, and accused UN peacekeepers in the country of failing to put an end to the violations.

Following the Israel Defense Forces' withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000, the air force stopped overflights of Lebanon. However, they were resumed in October of that same year after Hezbollah abducted three IDF soldiers on the border. Since then, the air force has carried out hundreds of intelligence and surveillance flights. Israel maintains that the flights are necessary for its security, despite protests by the
Lebanese government and the UN.

Israel charges that Hezbollah continues to rearm and receive training from Iran, in violation of the cease-fire accord that brought an end to the Second Lebanon War in August 2006.



 
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