Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Beirut – Damascus/Jerusalem; Special Hezbollah Unit Raids Israeli Arms Store – Steals Large Quantity of Weaponry
Night Watch: SHOMERA – Debka reports that a special Hezbollah unit, familar with the area, raided an Israeli arms and ammo store at the northern Israel Kibbutz of Shomera near the Lebanon border. This is near the area where on July 12 Hezbollah staged its ambush that killed eight Israeli soldiers and captured two, setting off the 34 day Lebanon war. A large amount of weaponry was stolen: side arms, anti-tank weapons, LAU rockets and hundreds of combat grenades. A few hours later an Israeli team entered the Lebanese village across from Shomera, Merwahin, and questioned residents about the raid. [DEBKA]
In a related development Debka also reports that the director of Israel’s intelligence, Yuval Diskin – Shin Bet, is accusing Egypt of ignoring Israel’s intelligence that could have arrested Palestinians who have been shipping tons of explosives across the Sinai into the Gaza Strip. “The Egyptians know who the smugglers are, we gave them intelligence, but they do nothing.” 19 tons of explosives have passed through the Sinai into Gaza since Israel’s withdrawal a year ago. There are obviously a large number of Egyptian officers and security personnel who are looking forward to the next phase of fighting. It is a perfect example of the eroding authority of Egypt President Hosni Mubarak. [DEBKA]
While this is going on Damascus has established 25 depots of arms and ammunition for Hezbollah on Syria’s side of the Lebanese border. The depots are located in Syrian air bases, army camps and security installations. The equipment can be sent into Lebanon at a moment’s notice. It provides the false impression that Damascus is obeying the arms embargo since technically the arms are not in Lebanon. The depots contain all the types of missiles – rockets Hezbollah uses, as well as the latest surface-to-air missiles and anti-tank rockets. All of them are marked and labeled for whatever Hezbollah unit that will use them. Tehran has also formed “smuggling squads” for every Hezbollah unit instead of relying on truck convoys which are an easier target for the Israel Air Force.
Unfortunately it seems that Israel’s government the Knesset, its foreign affairs and security committee, is ignoring warnings that emerged right after the ceasfire in mid-August, that with the rampant arms trade going on Palestinian units in the south and Hezbollah up north are now able to start wars simultaneously around Israel. One month ago crossfirewar.com reported Israel’s intelligence services estimate, their projection for when Tehran-Damascus, using Palestinians and Hezbollah, will be ready to start the next phase of fighting at their current rate of re-supply, mid-October.