Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Israeli minister says war may resume

Israeli minister says war may resume
Compiled by Daily Star staff

Israel's national infrastructure minister said on Tuesday that war with Hizbullah might restart in a few months, and called for an enhancement of the Israeli Army's capacities. Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told Israeli public radio that the deployment of the Lebanese Army along the border with Israel "will not ensure safety for Israel" and that Hizbullah still presents a threat to the Jewish state. Meanwhile, Britain-based Jane's International Defense Review reported that Hizbullah received direct intelligence support from Syria during the month-long Israeli offensive on Lebanon, using data collected by listening posts jointly operated by Russian and Syrian crews. Hizbullah was also fed intelligence from new listening posts built on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, which are operated jointly with Iran, it claimed. Israel has also alleged that Russian anti-tank missiles procured by Syria were reportedly transferred to Hizbullah and used during the war. Syria's centrality to the collection and transfer of intelligence to Hizbullah is based on separate agreements Damascus signed with Moscow and Tehran on intelligence cooperation, the Haaretz report said, adding that the deal with Russia is much older than the one with Iran, which was signed earlier this year. The intelligence cooperation agreement between Syria and Iran is part of a broader strategic cooperation accord that was achieved in November 2005 and confirmed during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjead's visit to Damascus in January 2006, Haaretz said.According to the Jane's report, in its agreement with Syria, Iran insisted that no Russian intelligence officers should be allowed access to the new listening posts, in spite of the long-standing deal between Damascus and Moscow. The Russian Embassy in Beirut was not available for comment. A Hizbullah spokesperson said his party had no comment.

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