(photo credit: Associated Press)
Intelligence on Tuesday expressed fears that a Hizbullah takeover of the
Lebanese government could follow the release of a UN tribunal's
findings on the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik
Hariri. It has long been rumored that certain members of Hizbullah could
be implicated for the 2005 murder.Last month IDF Chief
of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi similarly warned that the
findings of the United Nations probe into the assassination of Hariri
could lead Hizbullah to violently take over Lebanon.
Colonel Yossi Adler, a senior
official in Military Intelligence's Research Division told a meeting of
the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (FADC) that civil
unrest, followed by a Hizbullah takeover of Lebanon was a worst case
scenario, but a possibility nonetheless.
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a recent intelligence assessment, Yossi Baidatz, head of Military
Intelligence’s Research Division, told the FADC that Hizbullah is
capable of taking control of key aspects of Lebanon's government within a
matter of a few hours.
Ashkenazi told his Canadian counterpart, Gen. Walt Natynczyk, during
talks in Ottawa that violence could erupt in Lebanon following the
publication of the report.
“The radicals are gaining strength in Lebanon,” Ashkenazi told
Natynczyk, according to an officer accompanying the chief of General
Staff on his trip to North America. “The publication of the report could
destabilize Lebanon and be used as an excuse by Hizbullah to complete
its takeover over the entire country.”
Ashkenazi said that UNIFIL was effective in disrupting Hizbullah’s
activities in southern Lebanon but was failing to stop the group from
building up its military capabilities.