Hizballah's Threat to Regional Security

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman - Hizballah is an international terrorist organization that has been killing Americans and other Westerners for decades. Indeed, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said if al-Qaeda is the B-team of terrorism, Hizballah is the A-team. Hizballah has a very large capability to do harm throughout northern Israel, with hundreds of Grad missiles, dozens of short-range missiles like the "Fajar 3" and "Fajar 5," and longer-range rockets of Iranian make that can reach 40-70 km. Israel asked the Turkish government to prohibit the Iranians from using Turkish airspace to fly supplies to Hizballah via Damascus. The Turks agreed, had a couple of Iranian planes land for inspection, and the traditional supply route to Hizballah was closed. It is imperative to get Syrian policy to change. Lebanese prime minister Harari believes Lebanon cannot be both "Hong Kong" (today, Lebanon carries on its shoulders the ability of Syria to survive economically) and "Hanoi" (an adventurous revolutionary state). Hizballah, and the Iranians who back them, are currently more focused on supporting terrorist organizations in the Palestinian arena, primarily Islamic Jihad, which is directly responsive to Iranian directives. The spin that Hizballah and many others in the Arab world put on Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000 has had a direct impact on the minds of the Palestinian leadership, who decided to return to the armed struggle.

2003-03-19 00:00:00

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