Monday, February 19, 2007

Hezbollah Stronger Than Before 2006 War

Brig.-Gen. Yossi Beiditz, head of the Israel Defense Forces's Intelligence Wing Research Division, has told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Hezbollah continues to smuggle weapons into southern Lebanon, and has surpassed its pre-war abilities. As reported by Israel National News, Gen. Beiditz related that Hezbollah has "returned to its pre-war capabilities, and has even become stronger."

Ever alert to further undermining of his declining political fortunes, Defense Minister Amir Peretz interrupted Beiditz's report and said, "Hezbollah has not increased its strength, but merely its potential." [What does that mean? Talk about political doublespeak!] Beiditz quickly agreed with Peretz, arousing a storm of protest from opposition Members of the Knesset.

Silvan Shalom, a Likud Member of the Knesset and former Finance Minister, noted that Beiditz's testimony proves that the war was a failure. Just a few days ago, Hezbollah head Sheik Hassan Nasrallah bragged publicly about the continuing smuggling of weapons into southern Lebanon, in public defiance of the ceasefire agreement that ended the fighting last summer. During that fighting, Hezbollah fired some 4,000 Katyusha rockets at Israel, killing 41 civilians (including 17 Arabs and Druze). 119 soldiers were also killed in the war. It was estimated that Hezbollah did not use even half of its rocket strength.


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