Israel: Syria will Pay the Price for Hizbollah Attacks
Israeli defense officials are in the process of formulating a recommendation to strike at Syrian interests and targets in Lebanon if Damascus continues to allow Hizbollah and Palestinian groups to attack Israel along the Lebanese border, sources were quoted as saying by Haaretz newspaper.
They said that "Prime Minister Ehud Barak has, up until now, resisted adopting a military response, and continues to use diplomacy - via the United States, the United Nations and others - to try and bring pressure to bear on Syria and Lebanon to prevent further attacks on Israel from Lebanese territory."
Using a variety of channels over the past few weeks, Israel has warned Syria that the continuation of attacks against Israel could lead to an escalation of the situation in the region, according to the paper.
The issue was raised in talks between Syrian President Bashar Assad, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Jordan's King Abdullah, said one source.
Defense sources said "Assad was seriously misinterpreting the situation if he believed that such attacks could be continued with impunity."
The Syrians must understand that limited confrontations can also lead to a limited war, said one source, adding that "in the final analysis, we will have to respond."
In response to Lebanon's refusal to try to contain Hizbollah actions against Israel, said one source, Jerusalem has been pressuring the United States to include Lebanon on the list of states that abet terrorism.
"Syria is currently on the list and is, therefore, subject to American sanctions, including being barred from receiving US aid," he told the daily.
"[Lebanese Prime Minister] Rafik Hariri will come to learn the meaning of such a step, which will take his country back 20 years," said one senior defense source.
Barak said on October 8 that Syria was to hold ultimate responsibility for the "hostile acts" on the Lebanon-Israeli border, which saw three Israeli soldiers kidnapped.
Israel blamed Syria and Lebanon for the clashes that had occurred in the Shabaa farms a day before, and the capture of the soldiers, threatening to strike Beirut, and Syrian targets in Lebanon if the soldiers were not released - (Several Sources)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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