India Intelligence Report

 

 

   Hezbollah Asks Arabs to Vacate Haifa

  In a clear sign of major terrorist activities to come, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah warned Israeli Arabs to leave the port city of Haifa so the guerrilla organization could attack the city unimpeded so as not to “shed” their blood.
 

 

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In a clear sign of major terrorist activities to come, Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah warned Israeli Arabs to leave the port city of Haifa so the guerrilla organization could attack the city unimpeded so as not to “shed” their blood. Trying to equate with Arabs within Israel, Nasrallah is trying to create internal divisions with Israel and exploiting whatever disagreements exist. Haifa has a large Arab population that is largely in peaceful coexistence with their Jewish neighbors.

Nasrallah also severely criticized a US-French draft in the UNSC calling it “unfair and unjust” and accusing the West of giving “Israel more than it wanted and more than it was looking for.” The Lebanese Government had its own peace package but has not received as much support. Nasrallah urged the Lebanese Government not to give in the US pressure and water down its plan.

However, the Western plan itself was in stalemate as French and American negotiators failed to reach an agreement on the re-wording of parts of a resolution calling for cessation of hostilities in Lebanon. The West is under immense pressure from Lebanon and the Arab League to rewrite parts of the document that would make the resolution more balanced. The two sides had had agreed to call for an end to Hezbollah attacks and stop to offensive actions from Israel but did not call for an Israeli withdrawal. The draft said that the 1st two were required for a UN stabilization force to enter this buffer zone but Israel, backed by the US, is concerned that this buffer will be reoccupied by Hezbollah if it vacates it. Israel has been arguing that the Lebanese Army is incapable of fighting the Hezbollah and that a stronger force is required to ensure its withdrawal.

Israeli Cabinet decided overwhelmingly to expand its ground offensive even as US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch was visiting Beirut. Nasrallah threatened Israel that “Thousands of courageous holy warriors” will be “waiting” at “every village” and “valley.” Nasrallah said that Welch’s visit is “terrify the government and the Lebanese to pressure them to accept old-new conditions.”

Israel will deploy around 30,000 troops in the area to create a 20-30 kilometer buffer zone which Israel calls “security zone” between its northern border past historical Akko and the Litani River which it anticipates will take about 30 days or more to complete. The purpose of this buffer is to keep the Katyusha’s away from Israel as over 3,300 rockets have landed since July 12 when hostilities flared up. Around 1,000 Lebanese, mostly civilians, have been killed and more than 3,000 wounded in the conflict so far. Total Israeli casualties stand at 105 - 65 soldiers and 40 civilians.