Ya'alon: Hizbullah has agents in Gaza training terrorists

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 27, 2011 22:43

Vice Premier says Shi'ite group infiltrated Strip through Egypt, also is active in West Bank, paying operatives; Hamas denies claims.

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Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe 'Bogie' Ya'alon.

yaalon office 311. (photo credit:Ariel Jerozolimski)

Vice Premier and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Thursday that Hizbullah has infiltrated agents into the Gaza Strip in order to train Palestinian terrorists.

Ya'alon, a former IDF chief of staff, told reporters that "Hizbullah experts can get into the Gaza Strip, like the Iranian rockets are coming to the Gaza Strip." He said Hizbullah terrorists can go from Lebanon to Sudan, then to Egypt and on to Gaza.

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Ya'alon said Hizbullah has a special unit, called 1800, to deal with the Palestinian terrorists. He said the Lebanese terrorists also operate in the West Bank, paying operatives.

Israel has long accused Hizbullah and its Iranian backers of supporting Palestinian terrorists, but officials have said little about an actual physical presence of Iranian-backed militia in Gaza.

Hamas has often denied that foreign forces are in Gaza. On Thursday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called Ya'alon's claim "fabricated," and said "all the factions in Gaza are Palestinians."

Ya'alon's office said Hizbullah has been infiltrating Gaza quietly since Israel withdrew from the seaside strip in 2005.


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