Under threat of Hezbollah missiles, Israel reconsiders its policy in north

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by freeandfun1, May 19, 2004.

  1. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    "The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap . . ." (Isaiah 17:1)

    "And in that day [usually referring the Apocalypse or the great Tribulation] it shall come to pass, [that] the glory of Jacob [Israel] shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean. (Isa 17:4)

    If is THIS ARTICLE correct and Israel goes after Hezzbolah, get ready! The perverbial shit could hit the fan!

    Recently, an Israeli general said the easiest thing to do to neutralize Syria as a mortal threat would be to drop a nuclear bomb on Damascus . . .

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    Under threat of Hezbollah missiles,
    Israel reconsiders its policy in north
    By Leslie Susser

    JERUSALEM, May 11 (JTA) — How much longer President Bush remains in office may have an impact on what Israel does to counter the threat from the Hezbollah.
    After an early May flare-up with Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border, some Israeli generals are pressing for a major military operation in southern Lebanon.

    In calculated leaks to the press, Israel Defense Forces sources suggested that sooner or later Israel would launch a massive offensive against the terrorist group, and that such an operation has been in the cards ever since the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon four years ago this month.

    The sources said contingency plans had been drawn up and the best timing would be while Bush, who regards Hezbollah as one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world, is still in office.

    The thinking is that Bush would give Israel a green light to crush Hezbollah, while his successor might not.

    Israeli military sources say they’re no longer prepared to tolerate a situation in which a hostile and capricious organization with no sovereign responsibility, with the backing of Syria and Iran, has 1,000 artillery pieces trained on towns and cities in Israel’s north.

    The recent media leaks may have been intended merely to deter Hezbollah from repeating an abortive, early May attack on an Israeli military position in the Shebaa Farms area of the Golan Heights, in which Hezbollah militiamen apparently intended to abduct Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips to use in future prisoner exchange negotiations with Israel.

    The bodies of three Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah in October 2000 were part of a prisoner exchange this winter. Israel released hundreds of Arab prisoners in exchange for the soldiers’ remains and an Israeli businessman kidnapped by Hezbollah in October 2000.

    Even so, the possibility that the IDF intends to strike a major blow soon against Hezbollah can’t be ruled out.

    Ever since the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003 as part of its war against global terrorism, Israel has been considering the possibility of large-scale action to nullify Hezbollah’s threat. In the four years since the Lebanon withdrawal, Hezbollah has received a steady stream of weapons from Iran through the Damascus airport, and its new long-range Katyusha rockets can reach the northern port of Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city.

    This has created an uneasy balance of fear, with Israel threatening major action against Hezbollah — and Lebanese and Syrian targets — if the militiamen shell Israeli civilians in the north, and Hezbollah threatening to do just that if Israel tries to cripple its operational capacity.

    Some Israeli strategists say this has created an intolerable tinderbox situation in which Hezbollah provocation could suck Israel into a war with Syria or even Iran. It’s a threat that should be removed on Israel’s terms, they say.

    Moreover, over the past several months Hezbollah has become a major instigator of Palestinian terrorism. Israeli intelligence officers contend that Hezbollah money and agents in the field are the fuel keeping Palestinian terrorism going. Without Hezbollah, the officers say, the intifada would have quieted down long ago.

    Why did Hezbollah choose to reopen hostilities now on the long-dormant northern front?

    One theory is that after Israel foiled Hezbollah efforts to spark Palestinian terrorist attacks, it decided to reactivate the northern border. According to this view, Hezbollah’s secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, wanted to provide a semblance of continued action against Israel to enhance his organization’s standing in Lebanon and the wider Arab world. Israeli analysts note that Hezbollah is running in May 16 local elections in southern Lebanon.

    The attack also may be connected to the second phase of last January’s prisoner exchange deal, in which Hezbollah is supposed to provide information on Ron Arad, an Israel Air Force navigator who went missing in Lebanon 18 years ago, in return for more Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners held by Israel.

    During a May 8 tour of the northern border’s outposts involved in the recent exchanges, the IDF chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, intimated that Israel was re-evaluating its policy toward Hezbollah.

    “We respond firmly to Hezbollah provocations to prevent them from escalating in the north,” he said. “We need to consider what has to be done so that there will be order in the north.”

    There are likely to be two main schools of thought in the IDF re-evaluation. Cautionary voices argue that the northern border has been relatively quiet precisely because of the high stakes involved, and the status quo shouldn’t be upset.

    Some military officials, meanwhile, maintain that the situation in the north is an explosion waiting to happen, and the only question is what Israel should do to defuse it.

    One possibility is direct action against the militiamen, which easily could escalate into wider confrontation with Lebanon, Syria and even Iran.

    Another would be to use diplomatic channels to persuade Lebanon and Syria to pull Hezbollah back from its border positions. The knowledge that an Israeli offensive against Hezbollah could spill over into action against Lebanon and Syria might induce them to rein in the group.

    Commenting on the anticipated strategic review, the military analyst for Israel’s daily Ma’ariv, Amir Rappaport, came down on the side of action.

    “True, an operation against Hezbollah may exact a high price for a while in the north. But a bombing blitz like America’s in Iraq (with exactly the same weapons) could remind Nasrallah of the real military balance of power in the Middle East, and cut his organization down to size,” he wrote.

    What’s clear is that, even if quiet now, the northern border could erupt suddenly if Hezbollah launches new attacks and Israel decides that the time has come to alter the strategic balance. And that could entail a major cross-border confrontation until a more lasting quiet is restored.
     
  2. freeandfun1
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    TEL AVIV [MENL] -- Israel has been urged by leading strategists to plan preemptive strikes against weapons of mass destruction arsenals in the Middle East.

    A report, entitled "Israel's Strategic Future," asserted that Israel must prevent the formation of an enemy WMD coalition through such means as conventional preemptive strikes against vital facilities. The report said the Jewish state has been threatened by a biological or nuclear first-strike that seeks to exploit Israel's small space and high population density.

    "To meet its ultimate deterrence objectives -- that is, to deter the most overwhelmingly destructive enemy first-strikes -- Israel must seek and achieve a visible second-strike capability to target approximately 15 enemy cities," the report, presented to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said. "Ranges would be to cities in Libya and Iran, and recognizable nuclear bomb yields would be at a level sufficient to fully compromise the aggressor's viability as a functioning state. All enemy targets should be selected with the view that their destruction would promptly force the enemy to cease all nuclear/biological/chemical exchanges with Israel."
     
  3. dilloduck
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    Interesting---Do you have a feeling one way another about this?
     
  4. freeandfun1
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    EDIT:

    Okay, I am finished with my brief meeting.....

    Frankly, over the last few weeks I have really been doing a lot of reading on various subjects. I have been visiting Islamic websites to get their point of view, I have visited Christian sites to get their point of view and of course, I have continued to read and watch the traditional sources of information (mainstream media).

    All of them point to some very disturbing facts. Especially the Christian sites. Facts that are easily verifiable in the mainstream media.

    The apocalyptics point to the various world events to support their claims of the coming apocalypse. Throughout my life, having been raised in a Southern Baptist home, I have heard how "the end is near" and I have NEVER believed it.

    However, in doing research lately, I have to begin to wonder if their might be some validity to their "cries". If one looks at the prophetic versus of the Bible and then compare them to the actual (not perceived as in the past cries of the coming apocalypse) events happening in the world today, I cannot see how they could not surmise that the prophecies are developing before our very eyes.

    I understand why people don't want to see it, it is human nature. For one that has been denying the Bible to admit that what it says will happen is happening, that would require admitting they (the naysayers) were wrong in the past. Well, this one time naysayer is starting to think (know) that he was wrong.

    I won't cite verse by verse as I am not here to debate the Bible or its prophecies. However, I would encourage anybody with an open mind to at least do some research. You might find, as I did, that it will change how you look at this world and where we are heading.

    JMHO!
     

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