UNIFIL leaks to Hizbullah worry IDF

As Katyushas raise army alert, UNIFIL destroys bomb cache without notifying IDF in advance.

UNIFIL soldier 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
UNIFIL soldier 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A day after two Katyusha rockets struck Shlomi in the Galilee, defense officials raised concerns Wednesday that information they were regularly passing on to UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) was also making its way to Hizbullah. According to the officials, the IDF regularly updates UNIFIL and the LAF on its assessments concerning Hizbullah's military buildup in southern Lebanon. Unconnected to those concerns, on Tuesday two 107-mm. Katyusha rockets struck Shlomi. Defense officials said that an al-Qaida-inspired Palestinian group was the prime suspect in the attack. "This is a difficult scenario," one official in Jerusalem said. "On the one hand, we count on UNIFIL and the LAF and therefore need to update them. On the other hand, there is always a concern that the information we supply them with will fall into the wrong hands." As a result, the IDF is constantly debating the "depth" of the information it is willing to share with UNIFIL and the LAF, out of fear that due to the Lebanese Armed Forces connection, it will find its way to Hizbullah. Overall, the officials stressed, the IDF had a very good working relationship with UNIFIL, and OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot spoke regularly with his UN counterpart, Italian Maj.-Gen. Claudio Graziano. Last month diplomatic officials in Jerusalem reported major improvements in UNIFIL's performance, saying the force had recently taken up positions on bridges along the Litani River - the northern limit of its mandate - and was successfully curbing the flow of weapons from northern Lebanon to the South. Meanwhile Wednesday, the IDF raised its level of alert along the northern border for several hours after several loud explosions were heard coming from Lebanon. After contacting UNIFIL, the IDF was informed that the peacekeeping force had decided to destroy several weapon caches it had discovered. UNIFIL had forgotten to update the IDF.