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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Hizbullah’

If Hizbullah is the ‘Party of God,’ Who is Nasrallah Worshipping?

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Hizbullah has carried out wars and terrorist attacks against Israel and Jews for 21 years, but Lebanon’s nationalist party charged this week he is turning his “resistance” on them instead of Israel.

The Hizbullah terrorist organization has grown into a full-fledged political party and army that increasingly dominate Lebanon. The United States and Britain have defined it as an organization, but the European Union still has held out, despite Bulgaria’s declaration last week that Hizbullah was directly behind last year’s attack on a bus of Israelis in the country.

The IDF’s blog this week summarized 21 years of activities of the “resistance” Party of God”:

–  A mere three weeks after he became the organization’s leader, Nasrallah had already orchestrated a major terror attack against the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, killing 29 civilians.

–  Two years later, Nasrallah ordered another terror attack in the Argentinean capital – this time against the Jewish Center of Buenos Aires, murdering 85 men and women and wounding more than 300 others. During the same period, Hizbullah terrorists fired hundreds of rockets at towns in northern Israel.

– In 2000, after then-Prime Minister Ehud ordered a sudden withdrawal of Israeli solders from the southern Lebanon security zone, Nasrallah readily filled the power vacuum and carefully prepared for the offensive on Israel in 2006 by carrying out groundwork – and work underground. Nasrallah built a network of underground bunkers, camouflaged by vegetation and trees that covered up communications equipment and missiles.

He also placed thousands of rockets in villages before Hizbullah carried out the kidnap-murder of two Israel reservists, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, in late June 2006, setting the stage for the 34-day Second Lebanon War. Israel’s casualty toll was 119 soldiers, 43 civilians and hundreds of northern Israel residents.

– Since the 2006 ceasefire that was supposed to disarm Hizbullah, it has stockpiled more than three times the 20,000 missiles it possessed before the war. The IDF stated that Hizbullah now has “the largest weapons arsenal of any terror organization in the world today.”

–  In July 2012, a Hizbullah  suicide bomber boarded a tourist bus in Burgas, Bulgaria and killed five Israelis who were in Bulgaria on vacation, as well as their Bulgarian bus driver.

So much for “resistance.”

But Lebanon’s Future Movement is worried the “resistance” is targeting them as Nasrallah tries to solidify his political position in Lebanon and take advantage of the Syrian civil war to be the kingpin in the axis of terror headed by Hizbullah’s ally Iran.

In a speech last Saturday, Nasrallah uttered one of the most chutzpah remarks possible, stating that the former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri said a few months before his assassination by Syrian operatives that he supported Hizbullah’s maintaining its arsenal, even if there would be an overall Israeli-Arab peace settlement.

The Future Movement accused Nasrallah of attempting to twist the facts for saying that the slain leader, unlike his son, Sa’ad, supported Hizbullah’s arsenal, according to the Beirut Daily Star.

“What is most important [in Nasrallah’s speech] is that he frankly confessed that his resistance against the Israeli enemy has turned into a resistance against the Future Movement, as if the Future Movement has become the enemy,” the Future Movement stated.

“[Hizbullah’s arms] are a major bone of contention among the Lebanese,” it said, adding that “Lebanon is suffering [from] the predicament of the illegitimate arms which Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah insists on retaining as a tool to blackmail the Lebanese and the state and control its institutions.”

For his part, Nasrallah didn’t miss the opportunity in his speech to say he has not forgotten Israel.

“I warn Israel and those behind it that the resistance in Lebanon will not remain silent to any aggression against Lebanon,” he said. “I would like to remind them that only a few rockets are needed to [target] their airports, ports and power plants.”

Europe’s Hizbullah Hypocrisy

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Next week could prove to be quite an interesting one in the long and storied annals of European hypocrisy.

For when European Union Foreign Ministers gather on February 18 to discuss a variety of pressing international concerns, they will be confronted with an issue they would much rather overlook: Hizbullah’s penchant for engaging in terrorism.

Despite years of international pressure, and mountains of evidence demonstrating that Hizbullah is a murderous outfit, Europe has steadfastly refused to brand it a terrorist organization, allowing its operatives to raise funds and support for their mayhem across the continent.

But after Bulgaria announced the results of a probe which linked the Lebanese Shiite group to the July 18, 2012, bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver in the Black Sea resort city of Burgas, the E.U. now finds itself in an awkward position.

After all, it is one thing to ignore Hizbullah’s slaughter of Israelis and Americans over the years, which the E.U. seems to have little trouble doing.

But last year’s attack on Israeli tourists took place in Bulgaria, which formally joined the E.U. in 2007. And Bulgaria’s foreign minister, Nikolay Mladenov, said this week that he plans to brief his European colleagues about the probe.

It will be much harder, then, for the E.U. to justify its premeditated silence over Hizbullah’s homicidal track record.

Indeed, if you listen carefully next week, you will be surely be able to hear the sound of various European diplomats shifting uncomfortably in their seats.

Take, for example, E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, whose pitiful response to the Bulgarian probe was to counsel “reflection.”

“We have to reflect on the consequences,” she told a press conference this past Tuesday, “we have to consult and come back.”

Ashton could not bring herself to even mouth the word “Hizbullah,” let alone utter a condemnation for its wanton brutality.

Europe’s stance vis-à-vis Hizbullah is so egregious that it has even managed to elicit bipartisan disapproval in Washington.

Newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry said, “We strongly urge other governments around the world — and particularly our partners in Europe — to take immediate action to crack down on Hizbullah.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the political aisle, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce, said, “Now that Hizbullah has been found responsible for an attack on a European Union member nation, the EU must designate it as a terrorist organization,” calling their refusal to do so “indefensible.” Royce is absolutely correct.

Hizbullah has spent the past three decades killing, wounding and maiming hundreds of innocent people in terrorist attacks across the globe, from Argentina to Kenya, and from Burgas to Beirut.

It has the blood of U.S. Marines, Israeli holiday-goers and Buenos Aires Jews on its hands, and Europe still insists on treating Hizbullah like a social outreach organization.

As a result, as The New York Times reported last August, “thousands of its members and supporters operate with few restrictions in Europe, raising money that is funneled to the group’s leadership in Lebanon.” Germany alone is said to be home to nearly 1,000 members and supporters of the group, who operate with impunity.

And even as the world wrings its hands over the ongoing slaughter in Syria by the Assad regime, Hizbullah has reportedly been teaming up with its paymasters in Tehran to train, arm and finance the Syrian army.

At the same time, the group has been burnishing its arsenal of weapons, and now has more than 50,000 rockets in Lebanon pointed at Israel.

For far too long, Europe has been advancing the fiction that Hizbullah consists of separate “political” and “military” arms. But it is a distinction without a difference, and Europe must now muster the courage to get over its Hizbullah hang-up and finally label it a terrorist organization.

Forcing it to shut down its vast fundraising network in Europe and closing off its channels of support there would weaken Hizbullah significantly. Holland has already categorized it as a terrorist group, and the UK did the same with Hizbullah’s military wing.

But only a unified and coherent E.U. stamp of disapproval can shut down the organization’s European lifeline and send a clear message that Hizbullah’s terrorism will not be tolerated.

Report: Israeli Planes Bombed Hizbullah Spy Post in Lebanon

Monday, February 4th, 2013

The Israel Air Force Sunday night bombed a Hizbullah spy communications center in Tyre, on the coast of Lebanon, according to a Lebanese newspaper that supports anti-Hizbullah parties.

Hizbullah denied the report even though its own televise network originally said Israel hit Tyre, only to later change its version to claim that the explosion was that of a “stun gun.”

The Al-Mustaqbal newspaper reported that Hizbullah quickly cordoned off the area after the apparent Israeli strike, which came less than a week after the bombing of Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles on their way from Damascus to Hizbullah.

It quoted others sources as stating that Hizbullah destroyed the listening post that allegedly had been planted by Israeli agents.

Nahranet reported, “Israeli aircraft did not leave the Lebanese airspace over the south all through the day” on Sunday.

The IAF staged several mock raids over southern Lebanon the past several days despite condemnation from the Arab world and Russia for the bombing of the anti-aircraft missiles. Syria and Iran threatened to retaliate against Israel.

Hizbullah could severely cripple Israel’s ability to spot terrorist activity if the terrorist organization were to obtain the sophisticated Russian-made missiles.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour demanded on Sunday that the world retaliate for the bombing of the anti-aircraft missiles by placing “a tough boycott on the economic, political and diplomatic levels.”

“Israeli jets continue to invade Lebanon’s airspace every day. We must stand up against the Israeli attacks but not just with calls, statements and condemnation,” he said.

Indicators of the Road Ahead for Israel

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

With so much turbulence about (especially now but also in the past several years), it’s easy to overlook the fact that Israel has fought no wars against any Arab state since the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

As Robert Satloff notes in the first of the articles we extract below, Israel’s experiences over these last four decades include “successful diplomacy with intermittent bouts of terrorism and asymmetric war against non-state actors.” Looking ahead, there’s more than a little reason to take a sober view of the future.

The End of the Forty-Year Peace between Israel and Arab States Robert Satloff  in the New Republic: With Hamas’ strong political backing from regional states, future historians might very well view the recent Gaza conflict as the first episode of a new era of renewed inter-state competition and, potentially, inter-state conflict in the Arab-Israeli arena… The “old new Middle East” was a region of peace, trade, and regional cooperation. It reached its heyday in the mid-’90s, when Israelis were welcome everywhere from Rabat to Muscat… The “new new Middle East” is the region defined by the twin threats of Iranian hegemonic ambitions and the spread of radical Sunni extremism, where Israelis are not only unwelcome but where they are building fences along their borders to separate themselves from the fight around them… There is much the U.S. can do to postpone the return to inter-state Arab-Israeli conflict. Such a strategy begins with strengthening American-Israeli cooperation and includes such initiatives as preventing Hamas from winning a political victory over the moribund Palestinian Authority, incentivizing moderate behavior from the calculating Islamist leaders of Egypt, speeding the demise of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, and preventing the collapse of a wobbly Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Hamas Tells Fatah: Let’s Fight Israel Together Khaled Abu Toameh in the Jerusalem PostHamas leader Mahmoud Zahar on Monday called on Fatah to join his movement in the fight against Israel and to stop wasting time and effort with the peace process. “Our hands are extended to Fatah to join the program of [armed] resistance and the liberation of Palestine… Let’s join hands and carry the rifle together.”

Hizbullah TV Claims Its Rockets Can Reach Eilat  Zach Pontz in the Algemeiner: Israel’s Channel 2 television broadcast a video from Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV claiming that the terror group’s rockets could reach as far as Eilat. The segment, accompanied by many graphic descriptions, claimed: “Hizbullah has the following capabilities: the destruction of buildings in Tel Aviv; damage to ports and ships in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and capability to hit specific targets with missiles on the residents and resources of Israel.” Last week Hizbullah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah told a crowd: “Israel, which was jolted by Fajr-5 missiles [from Gaza] – how will it be able to endure thousands of missiles falling on Tel Aviv and other cities if it attacks Lebanon? Our campaign against Israel is from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat.”

Visit This Ongoing War.

Israeli War Games Simulate Strike on Iran

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

A massive war game simulation by the Institute for National Security Studies of the IDF’s engagement after a strike on Iran recently took place, illustrating Israel’s increasing preparedness for putting a military end to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

The drill played out a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran after midnight on November 9, without US participation.

In the simulation, Al-Jazeera reported four massive and successful assaults on Iranian nuclear sites.  Iran responded by firing 200 Shihab missiles at Israel and calling on Hizbullah and Hamas to attack Israel.

The game determined that it would be difficult for Israel to reach a diplomatic solution following a military exchange between the countries, especially given Russia’s interest in using such a situation for its own strategic advantage.

In the scenario, the US would side with Israel but stay out of warfare, attempting to broker peace through a lessening of sanctions.

As for Hizbullah, Tehran would declare Israel’s act “judgement day” – the entire purpose of the armament of Hizbullah.

Israelis would endure the conflict, surviving on a mix of relief over the success of the missions and a belief that their cause was justified.

The INSS concluded that either a major regional war would take place after an Israeli attack on Iran, or Iran would be restricted in its movements, and unable to start a serious conflict.

IDF Evacuates Visitors to Upper Hermon Due to Approach of Armed Syrians

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

A group of visitors to Mount Hermon in Israel’s north were evacuated on Wednesday when a group of armed Syrians approached the border.

Officials in the Northern Command on Wednesday detected a group of 50 Syrians – four of whom were carrying weapons – several hundred meters from the border.  Because the intentions of the group was unclear, the IDF evacuated visitors from the upper level of the Hermon, relocating them to the lower level.

The Syrians did not attempt an infiltration, and were monitored by the IDF.

Earlier on Wednesday, blasts were heard in southern Lebanon, coming out of a Hizbullah-controlled area.  Seven people were reported killed by AFP.

Reports Of Syrian Maneuvers Prompt Israeli Military Concerns

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly considering a preemptive military strike against several Syrian chemical weapons storage depots and Scud missile sites. The goal is to prevent embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad from transferring the unconventional arsenal to Hizbullah or the Iranian Revolutionary Guards if Assad appears on the verge of being toppled from power by opposition forces.

The possibility of an Israeli incursion into Syrian territory was bolstered by reports this week in the German weekly Der Spiegel and Britain’s Times of London that elite pro-Assad government troops used advanced missile systems, tanks and jet fighters to test blank chemical weapons canisters during the summer, with the field tests supervised by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The chemical weapons laboratory, according to Der Spiegel, is located in Safira (east of Aleppo) and is manned by Syrian, North Korean and Iranian scientists and intelligence agents.

A defecting Syrian general told the Times of London that Assad has discussed transferring the chemical weapons stockpiles, along with their delivery systems, to Hizbullah should Assad be forced to flee from Damascus. The Al Arabiya TV network reported on Wednesday that Assad’s sister, Bushra, defected with her children to Dubai, a Persian Gulf emirate. Her late husband, a member of the Syrian high command, was killed by Syrian opposition forces in July.

The news reports’ legitimacy and implications were strengthened when IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz ordered a surprise live fire drill across sections of the Golan Heights, along the border with Syria. Advanced Merkava tanks and elite paratroop units were said to be taking part in the drill, amid the heightened tensions with Syria and Iran. Over the last few months, the IDF has also begun to upgrade and fortify Israel’s border fence along the Syrian frontier, due to growing concerns that Hizbullah or al Qaeda terrorists will attempt to create a mass casualty incident against IDF troops or Israeli citizens in the Golan region.

NATO and the Pentagon say that in preparation for Assad’s possible ouster or use of chemical weapons against Syria’s civilian population, as many as 10,000 elite soldiers have been placed on alert in Europe and the Middle East to secure Assad’s chemical weapons and Scud missile depots. For their part Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak aren’t convinced that European and American leaders, including President Obama, will act fast enough to secure the weapons, which are purportedly dispersed across several dozen locations.

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert ordered a preemptive strike against a Syrian nuclear weapons development site in 2007 after President George W. Bush rejected Olmert’s request for an American military strike against the rogue Syrian nuclear site. Bush maintained that a diplomatic effort was preferable to the use of force.

According to several Israeli media reports, Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are becoming increasingly frustrated with the growing number of failed American foreign policy efforts in the Middle East. One report said that high-ranking Israeli Foreign Ministry members have accused their State Department counterparts of “burying their heads in the sand and ignoring the increasing radicalization of Arab states such as Tunisia and Egypt.”

Earlier this week, reports circulated that under the current circumstances in Egypt, it would be almost impossible for the Israeli Embassy in Cairo to function properly. And El Al announced that it was thinking of terminating its scheduled service to Cairo based on a lack of business and the rapidly deteriorating security situation in that country.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/idf/reports-of-syrian-maneuvers-prompt-israeli-military-concerns/2012/09/20/

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