(photo credit: AP)
Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz, head of Military Intelligence’s Research Division, gave a rather pessimistic view of the peace process and the threat Israel faced from Hizbullah on Tuesday.
Speaking to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Baidatz warned that the scuds reportedly transferred to Hizbullah by Syria are just the 'tip of the iceberg', saying the group had an organized arms supply and support network. “Weapons are being supplied consistently from Syria, and the transfers are organized by the Iranian and Syrian regimes, so they cannot exactly be called arms-smuggling operations.”
He added that Hizbullah currently has thousands of rockets of varying types and ranges, including more precise and longer-range missiles than it once had.Palestinians already preparing the ground for failure of talks
Regarding the peace process and the upcoming proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Baidatz said the Palestinians were “already preparing the ground for the failure” of the proximity talks, which are expected to soon be launched by US Middle East envoy George Mitchell.
He said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wanted to try and expose Israel in a negative light in order to bring about its global isolation.
“Although the PA president is interested in an agreement with Israel, his flexibility on the core issues is limited, and we don’t see any real attempt at being more flexible on the essential matters,” he said.
Proximity’s silver lining?'Hizbullah
reserves right to rearm'
Meanwhile, Hizbullah deputy head Naim Kassem said the group reserved the right to rearm.
Speaking to Hizbullah’s al-Manar television, Kassem added that the “land is our land and no country in the world can restrict our arsenal.”
However, he ruled out the possibility of a war with Israel being on the horizon, citing what he called Israel's lack of logistical preparation and its internal issues.
“The hand of Hizbullah is on the safety catch and Israel is well aware of what awaits it,” he warned.