Israeli Fears of Imminent Hizbollah Attacks ‘Creating Tension’ on Border with Lebanon
Israel’s repeated warnings of imminent Hizbollah attacks are helping to create a climate of tension along the border with Lebanon, according to a senior Lebanese security source.
In the past few days, Israel has issued a flurry of predictions that the Shiite resistance group was about to stage a “spectacular” operation against Israeli forces.
The warnings carried by the Israeli media have included a wide array of potential assaults by Hizbollah such as rocket strikes in the occupied Shabaa Farms, storming a border outpost, attacks via the flashpoint village of Ghajar and abductions of civilians or soldiers.
Israeli troops are on a high state of alert along the border, particularly in the Shabaa Farms area and in Ghajar village.
For a second consecutive day Friday, Hizbollah anti-aircraft units opened fire twice at Israeli warplanes flying over the south, adding to the tension.
Israel has reportedly sent messages to Syria via the United States warning of a severe response to any attack by Hizbollah, which harried the Jewish state's occupation army until it withdrew from south Lebanon in May 2000.
But security sources and diplomats in Beirut were quoted by the Daily Star newspaper as believing that the warnings had less to do with hard intelligence received by the Israelis of impending Hizbollah operations, and more to do with two months having passed since the last attack in the Shabaa Farms.
“They are drumming into our heads every conceivable threat they can come up with,” a senior security source said.
“In case something goes wrong, they’ll be able to say ‘we told you so’,” the source told the paper.
Hizbollah’s advantage is that it has considerable flexibility in choosing where, when and how to hit Israeli forces, tailoring the operation to suit conditions on the ground and its broader political interests, he said.
Israel’s assassination of Abu Ali Mustapha, the head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, earlier this week in the West Bank has aroused speculation that Hizbollah may permit a “revenge” operation by the PFLP along the border, said the paper – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)