Sunday, March 09, 2008

Israeli intelligence puts Hezbollah at top of threat list

(click to zoom)

Israeli intelligence agencies are expected to give cabinet ministers a grim assessment on Sunday of the perceived threats facing Israel.

"The intelligence will paint a bleak picture of the strategic threats surrounding Israel," one senior Israeli official said.

A Defense Ministry official said the report will say that arch-foe Iran is operating through the group in Lebanon and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

"Iran's presence and threat is felt both in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank" through its proxies, the official said on condition of anonymity.

"We'll also hear about Hezbollah's rearmament and threat it poses along Israel's northern border."

Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in Lebanon in July-August 2006, which Israel launched on Lebanon after Hezbollah operatives seized two soldiers in a deadly cross-border raid. The Human Rights Watch estimated civilian casualties in the July War at over 1000 Lebanese dead.

The Israeli agencies involved in the assessment - including the military Aman, domestic Shin Beth and external Mossad - will present their annual report at the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Olmert said at the start of the meeting that Israel was capable of facing any menace.
"There are threats, there are fears and there are dangers, but the fact that today we will discuss mainly these issues does not mean we do not have responses," Olmert said.

"Israel can respond to all threats and can answer all the dangers and has the knowledge, courage and strength to face anything that might threaten its citizens and security."

The assessment comes just days a Palestinian gunman shot dead eight Israeli students on Thursday in a strike claimed by the Gaza-based Hamas. The strike came as a response to the Israeli massacre in Gaza last week.

-AFP/NOW Staff


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home