Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cabinet: Israel to End Hezbollah Arms Smuggling


"07/08/2008 Israel said Wednesday it intended to put an end to the “arms smuggling” into Lebanon adding that Hezbollah is using the arms to bolster its position domestically and as a “strategic threat on behalf of Iran.”

During a meeting Wednesday of the political-security cabinet on Hezbollah, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said "Israel will not acquiesce to the continued smuggling of arms."

According to Haaretz, the ministers were updated on what it said was continued Syrian transfers of advanced military hardware to Hezbollah, including air defense systems, in an effort to limit the freedom of operations of the Israeli air force in Lebanon, particularly in reconnaissance and surveillance operations.

The daily added that the ministers were briefed on intelligence assessments, which hold that Hezbollah is interested in a confrontation with Israel over the air force overflights, “which will allow the organization to carry on with claims it serves as a shield against Israeli aggression.”

The cabinet agreed that Israel could not reconcile with the transfer of advanced systems and said the entry of such weapons into Lebanon must be stopped.
Israel has warned that any such transfers would be perceived in Jerusalem as "a violation of the strategic balance" in the region."

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