Friday, May 13, 2005

Who let the dogs out?

Hezbollah fired 9-12 rockets/mortar rounds at an IDF post in Har Dov area of Northern Israel today. This is the third attack on Israel since last Wednesday and the IDF responded with a combination of artillery fire and a precision surgical strike by the IAF on two Hezbollah targets inside the border of Lebanon.

The Jerusalem Post carries this account:
Hizbullah's Al-Manar television said the attack was in retaliation for Israeli attacks on Lebanese territory, including a hit on civilian houses in the village of Kfar Chouba. It said the guerrillas used the "appropriate" weapons and scored a direct hit on the Roueissat el-Alam position. "The Islamic Resistance warns the Zionist enemy that any attack on on civilians will be met with the appropriate response," the statement said.

The heavy exchange came after days of sporadic shelling by both sides, which began when Israel mistakenly fired an artillery shell into Lebanon earlier this week while clearing explosives planted by Hizbullah terrorists near the border. The Israeli army said the shell fell in an open area, causing no damage or casualties.

Late Thursday night two rockets were fired from southern Lebanon at IDF posts in the Har Dov sector, and late Wednesday night, as residents in the northern town of Shlomi began celebrating Independence Day, a katyusha rocket was fired at the town. It exploded in the town's industrial site severely damaging a bakery but causing no casualties.

Following the attack, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom on Thursday directed Israel's delegation to the UN to lodge a formal complaint with Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Annan, in turn, called on Lebanon, from where the rocket was fired, to take control of it's territory. However, despite the United Nation's security council's call on Lebanon to disarm the militant groups, the army noted Friday that the Lebanese government continues to grant freedom of movement to terrorists operating within its borders without making any attempts to disarm them. After the Katyusha attack, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it was a "blatant violation of the international boundary between Israel and Lebanon." The statement said the attack again proved the urgent need for the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559 which, in addition to its call for a removal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, also calls for the disarming of militias in Lebanon. A statement issued by the IDF said the army was investigating the incident and that it would take the necessary steps to thwart such attacks in the future. "The Lebanese government is responsible for what occurs in its country and must implement the United Nations Security Council resolution," the IDF statement said.

No doubt Hezbollah has been looking been feeling rather irrelevant and needs to find a new reason to exist now that the pro-liberty movement has taken hold in the hearts and minds of the Lebanese people and gave them the wherewithal to push Hezbollah’s Syrian allies from Lebanese soil. The one thing that I have to give Hezbollah credit for is a distinct lack of imagination. I would not bat an eyelash, if in the coming days I were to read of a sniper attack on Maronite supporters as they leave mass circa 1975 which was match that lit the Lebanese Civil War. Someone needs to tell Hezbollah that a new day has dawned, General Aoun has returned, Arafat is dead and the PLO has moved on and its time for them to do the same.

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