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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

IAF jets buzz southern suburbs of Beirut as Lebanon admits Hezbullah smuggling arms

IAF jets buzzed the Hezbullah stronghold of Dahiya in the southern suburbs of Beirut. The planes dove six times during the course of about thirty minutes, but no bombs were dropped. This was the largest Israeli show of force since the cease fire went into effect on August 14. According to the Jerusalem Post, the timing of this incident was no accident:
The overflights came only hours after UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen told the Security Council that the Lebanese government had reported that arms were being smuggled into Lebanon from Syria.

The United Nations has repeatedly called on Israel to stop flying over Lebanon, saying it was violating the cease-fire. But Israel has said the flights would continue to prevent Hezbollah from re-arming.
The Post is also reporting that the IAF jets flew low over Tyre and Nabatiyeh on their way to Beirut.

My problem with this is that while Israel continues to observe Hezbullah's rearmament, it does nothing to stop it. We've known that this was going on since the day after the war ended. Literally. Why aren't we telling UNIFIL that if they don't the job we will? Because at the moment, we are incapable of doing it. The IDF command is too busy covering its own backside against a commission of inquiry to fight.

Yesterday, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz promoted all the generals who were involved in this summer's debacle with the exception of OC Northern Command Udi Adam who resigned. Defense Minister Amir Comrade Peretz is too concerned with saving his own butt to try to take on Halutz. The Winograd Commission toils on in silence with no power while the Supreme Court decides its fate.

In that context, today's overflight is nothing more than cheap muscle-flexing. We already know that Hezbullah cannot be defeated solely from the air.

Meanwhile, Hezbullah rearms under the protection of UNIFIL and the Lebanese government, and Olmert, Peretz and Livni continue to fiddle while our northern border burns.


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