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Lebanon, Israeil Jets, and Hizbullah

Written by The Lekarev Report

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April 29, 2008
The Lekarev Report
Lebanon: IDF Jets Buzzed Overhead 
IAF warplanes entered Lebanese airspace yesterday, flying at will over Beirut and elsewhere in the country, the Lebanese army said.  An army statement said that "12 enemy Israeli warplanes" violated Lebanese airspace before noon, four flying over the Mediterranean off the coastal city of Byblos in the north and then headed toward the eastern province of Hermel.

Eight other Israeli warplanes reportedly flew over the southern town of Rmeish, then headed north to Beirut, the Chouf mountains, southeast of the capital, and Hermel before heading back to the "occupied territories (as the Lebanese Army refers to the state Israel)" the statement said. The Israeli forays lasted about an hour.

There was no comment from the Israeli army, which typically does not comment on its sorties in Lebanon and elsewhere. IAF jets frequently fly over south Lebanon in what Israel describes as reconnaissance missions. The over-flights have drawn groundfire from Lebanese troops on at least two occasions since a UN-brokered cease-fire concluded the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hizbullah guerrillas in August 2006.

The well documented re-armament of Hizbollah in south Lebanon, right under the eyes of UNIFIL troops who do nothing to stop it, has Israel's attention, as the next article explains.
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Mofaz to Rice: Hizbollah Rules South Lebanon

Israeli officials are extremely concerned about Hizbullah's growing strength in south Lebanon, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz told United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday. Mofaz, who heads the Israeli team for strategic talks with the US, met Rice ahead of the strategic dialogue to be held later with the participation of 15 senior Israeli and American officials.

Hizbullah controls southern Lebanon and enjoys a "complete hold" over the area, Mofaz said, and added that the group has more than doubled the number of long-range rockets it possesses.

Mofaz warned that Hizbullah is preparing itself for the next war and said that Security Council Resolution 1701 that arranged the Lebanon ceasefire has been virtually emptied of all substance. "The presence of UNIFIL and Lebanese Army forces in southern Lebanon is insignificant and does not constitute an obstacle in the face of Hizbullah's strengthening," he said.

He also warned the Secretary of State about pushing for the surrender of the Golan Heights to Syria.

Mofaz spoke harshly to Rice about the issue, declaring emphatically,

"Handing over the Golan Heights to Syria means having the Iranians on the Golan Heights," he said. Mofaz warned that just like Iran has a foothold in southern Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip, it will also do the same on the Golan.

There was no report on the Secretary's response to Mofaz.
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Source: The Lekarev Report
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