IDF raises alert level on northern border

Non-essential personnel evacuated from border outposts after threat of Hizbullah kidnappings.

rabin special 298 (photo credit: )
rabin special 298
(photo credit: )
Hizbullah is trying to carry out a significant terrorist attack along the northern border according to senior officers from OC Northern Command, Army Radio reported Thursday night. The officers said that their main concern was that Hizbullah would attempt to kidnap soldiers and civilians in the vicinity of the northern border with Lebanon. Following the warnings, the IDF evacuated all nonessential military personnel from border outposts in the Mount Dov region. Civilian traffic in certain areas west of Mount Dov have been placed on heightened alert. The goal of the radical Shi'ite group, according to security sources, was to gain legitimacy to renew its actions along the northern border. The officers added that the IDF sees the Lebanese government as the responsible body for any deterioration - were any to occur - of the status quo on the border. Over the past few days farmers on the northern border were also placed on heightened alert. The farmers were asked by authorities to refrain from going near the border fence and from working their fields near the border. Last week, the Lebanese government rejected UN calls to disarm Hizbullah, insisting the matter was subject to national dialogue. Lebanon regards Hizbullah as a legitimate resistance group opposing Israeli occupation of Arab lands. Disarming such groups should also be handled internally through dialogue among the country's various factions, Lebanon maintains. The UN Security Council Resolution 1559 of September 2004 demands Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias disarm, the Lebanese army deploy in southern Lebanon and Syria withdraw its troops from Lebanon and stop interfering in its affairs. But Hizbullah, which has representation in Parliament and in Cabinet, has refused to disarm, saying the weapons are needed to liberate remaining Lebanese territory and to guard against any possible Israeli attack in the future. Hizbullah has almost complete control in southern Lebanon where it clashes frequently with the IDF on the two countries' border. With AP.