UNIFIL Caught Between Israel and Hizbullah: A Burning Issue for Nicolas Sarkozy

[Le Figaro-France] Georges Malbrunot - The Shi'i militia, Hizbullah, is rearming north of the Litani River. On three occasions in recent weeks, Israeli political authorities have denied Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, chief of the North Israel military region, authority to attack, not far from the Syrian border with Lebanon, trucks carrying weapons for Hizbullah arriving from Damascus. "This time the satellite photos that the Israelis showed us seem conclusive," according to a diplomat close to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has again voiced his "concern" about this forbidden traffic. Following the appointment in February of its new chief of staff, Gen. Gaby Ashkenazy, the Israeli army has greatly strengthened its defenses. At his first meeting with UNIFIL, Gen. Ashkenazy conveyed an extremely clear message: "Before, we were lambs; now we will be wolves," he warned. Israel does not intend to get trapped again. Hence the continuing flights over Lebanese territory by Israeli drones gathering intelligence about Hizbullah but also about UNIFIL's defense arrangements.

2007-05-15 01:00:00

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