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Iran and Iraq Mounting Terror Campaign From Lebanon

Monday, August 27, 2001 | Tag Cloud Tags: ,

Senior Israeli defense officials are concerning that Iran and Iraq are training and equipping terrorist factions for joint operations across Israel's northern border.

Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said Monday that terrorist organizations in Lebanon are cooperating under the auspices of their Iranian mentors and financial backers to open a new front against Israel along the Lebanese border. Sneh said the four main groups were Hamas, Hizb'Allah, the Islamic Jihad and Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). He stressed that Israel would not adopt a policy of restraint against such organizations which tried to infiltrate Israeli territory to carry out murderous attacks or take hostages.

On Tuesday, IDF Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Malka confirmed Sneh's report. In his monthly review to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Malka reported that Iran is giving money and training to Palestinian terror organizations in the territories and in Lebanon via Hizb'Allah. Malka said both Iran and Iraq are trying to exploit the unrest to boost anti-Israeli activities and improve their regional status.

Malka also said Iranian leaders are increasing their calls for the annihilation of Israel, while the IDF withdrawal from Lebanon and the violence in the territories have increased their feeling that the demise of Israel is near. Tehran also sees the unrest as a "window of opportunity" to expand its terror network and sabotage the peace process, he added.

After two Palestinian terrorists linked to George Habash were killed by the IDF just inside the northern border over the weekend, Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harriri said he was opposed to attacks by armed Palestinian organizations on Israel from Lebanese territory. He also hinted that an inquiry would be launched into the incident.

Lebanese Information Minister Ghazi Iaridi made it clear, however, that the Lebanese Army would not be deployed along the border with Israel, despite Harriri's comments and repeated requests from the UN and the international community. He said it was not the Lebanese government's responsibility to police Israel's northern border and that it had no intention of stopping the resistance, a Lebanese euphemism for Hizb'Allah's terrorist activities following the IDF's complete withdrawal from Lebanon.

Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

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