'Hizbullah still armed thanks to Syria'

Israel's ambassador to Spain says Syria working against Saniora government.

October 18, 2006 14:39
1 minute read.
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Hizbullah is still armed because Syria is providing the Shi'ite guerrillas with weapons after the recent war in Lebanon, Israel's ambassador to Spain said Wednesday.

  • The second Lebanon war: JPost.com special report "We have evidence that Hizbullah has received more weapons from Syria," Victor Harel said in a breakfast meeting with political analysts and journalists in Madrid.
  • Right On: The coming Middle East war (column) He said that since an August 14 cease-fire went into effect, apart from supporting Hizbullah, Syria had continued to meddle in Lebanese affairs and tried to undermine the country's pro-Western prime minister. "We don't trust Hizbullah. They continue to be armed in order to achieve their dream, which is the disappearance of the Zionist identity," Harel added. "Syria continues to work against the Lebanese government of (Fuad) Saniora to weaken him or even replace him," Harel said. Harel said Syria is sending mixed signals, projecting itself to the international community as wanting peace while also harboring terrorists. "Syria is not part of the solution. It is part of the problem," he said. Harel said that Israel made significant gains in its battle against the Lebanese guerrilla group, although acknowledged that they committed mistakes during the 34-day war. He said the Israeli offensive in Lebanon failed to achieve the goals stated by the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - decimating Hizbullah and winning return of the two abducted Israeli soldiers. Instead, Hizbullah battered Israel with almost 4,000 rockets during the fighting. "Under no circumstances did we lose the war," Harel said. "We were in war against terrorists not the government or people of Lebanon. That caused us to limit the use of our forces." "The results of the war were mediocre," he said. Harel also said that ultimately the greatest threat to Israel comes from Iran, and he was concerned about the precedent set by the nuclear test claimed by North Korea. "Today it's North Korea, tomorrow it will be Iran," he said. "Israel cannot allow an existential threat to the security of Israel in the region. Our threats as a country do not come from Hizbullah, Hamas or Syria, it comes from Iran as a possible nuclear power," Harel said.

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