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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Stability on norther border could explode at any minute

Alon Friedman, the deputy commander of the IDF's northern sector, told the Times of London that the border could explode 'at any minute' after the Times showed him surveillance video (some of which should look familiar to you) showing Hezbullah terrorist trying to salvage rockets from the weapons cache that exploded last month.

Let's go to the videotape.

Hezbollah has stockpiled up to 40,000 rockets and is training its forces to use ground-to-ground missiles capable of hitting Tel Aviv and anti-aircraft missiles that could challenge Israel’s dominance of the skies over Lebanon.

Brigadier-General Alon Friedman, the deputy head of Israel’s Northern Command, told The Times from his headquarters overlooking the Israeli-Lebanese border that the current stability was “in danger”.

He added that the peace, which has reigned over the rolling Biblical landscape for the past three years, could “explode at any minute”.

His concerns were partly due to threats from Hezbollah’s leadership. Last month, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, warned that if the southern suburbs of Beirut were bombed as they were in the last war, he would strike back against Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city.

“We have changed the equation that had existed previously,” he said. “Now the southern suburbs versus Tel Aviv, and not Beirut versus Tel Aviv.”

Hezbollah’s rearming is in the name of “resistance” against Israel. But the real reason probably has more to do with its ally Iran. If Israel carries out its threat to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, then the main retaliation is likely to come from its Hezbollah allies in Lebanon. Hezbollah is Iran’s insurance policy.

All sides agree that the threat is not a bluff. Last month the scale of the Hezbollah build-up was revealed after an explosion at a huge Hezbollah ammunition bunker in the village of Khirbet Slim, 12 miles from the Israeli border.
UNIFIL has admitted that the weapons cache was active and belonged to Hezbullah.

Hezbullah has gained access to a number of new weapons since 2006.
Hezbollah is believed to have acquired large numbers of SA-18 shoulder-fired missiles which could mount a challenge to Israeli helicopters and low-flying jets.

Western intelligence sources have told The Times that Hezbollah fighters are also receiving training in Syria on the SA-8 system. The radar-guided SA-8 missiles are launched from tracked vehicles and have a maximum altitude of 36,000 feet, which would pose a serious threat to Israel’s dominance in the skies above Lebanon.

Israeli jets and pilotless drones penetrate Lebanese airspace on a near daily basis. Israel says that the overflights are necessary for reconnaissance purposes, although the UN considers them violations of Resolution 1701.

Israel considers Hezbollah’s acquisition of advanced anti-aircraft missiles as a “red line’ which could prompt a military response to destroy the systems on the ground. Israeli warnings relayed to Syria appear to have forestalled the entry of the SA-8 system into Lebanon, the sources said.

Israel claims that Hezbollah has tripled the number of surface-to-surface rockets since the 2006 war, with the number totalling around 40,000. Many of them are the short range Katyusha variant which were fired into northern Israel in large numbers in 2006 from well-camouflaged underground launch pads. Hezbollah also possesses larger rockets capable of hitting Tel Aviv.

Danny Ayalon, the deputy Israeli Foreign Minister told The Times: “Hezbollah has not only replaced the munitions but upgraded their missiles. They are bragging now that they can hit Tel Aviv.”
Read the whole thing.

War is probably coming with Hezbullah. In fact, were it not that Hezbullah has been holding itself in reserve in case it needs to respond to an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, I suspect it would have come already. Hopefully this time, Israel's government will go after Lebanese infrastructure and not pretend that Hezbullah is not part of Lebanon.


At 3:03 AM, Blogger Neshama said...

If they do attack, I believe they will wait until after Obama's Adm unveils (read, imposes) its "comprehensive regional peace plan" which is probably the 'Saudi Plan'.

And when Israel does not go for it, the arabs will lose their ancient tempers and explode.

Baring a world catastrophe, this could be a GIANT change in ME and US, the binding of Eisav and Yishmael into a force to reckon with.

At 3:23 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel's aim should to be to clear Hezbollah away from the border and empty the region south of the Litani of its Arab inhabitants. If Israel is attacked, Lebanon must pay a heavy price. The permanent loss of land and water resources should be enough to instruct the Lebanese on the futility of war with Israel. Hezbollah cannot "liberate" them or keep them safe.

At 6:10 AM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

I disagree about coming war, but in case of, Lebanon should be totally erased and that as a warning to other potential attackers.

At 6:24 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

It would be such a shame if hezbollah's weapons suffered from premature detonation.

And maybe this time, Israel can decapitate several layers of the hezbos.

Its time to make sure they grasp why a deterrent is considered a deterrent. Provide a lesson to those who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.


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