Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran – Ramallah – Gaza City – Damascus – Beirut/Jerusalem – Cairo – Paris – Rome; Palestinian Prime Minister Haniyah Arrives in Tehran Friday – Fourth Capital on Regional Tour – Cairo – Doha – Damascus – Tehran
Night Watch: RAMALLAH – GAZA CITY – Palestine Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah arrived in Tehran Friday on the fourth stop of a regional tour. Cairo – Doha – Damascus. Something is up; something is always up with Iran. He arrived in Damascus on Sunday and subsequently met with Syria President Bashar al-Assad, Vice-President Farouk al-Shara, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem and Prime Minister Naji Otri. I suspect that while in Syria, for nearly a week, detailed discussions and planning were made on the next wave of fighting and not just to engage Israel but also the European units in UNIFIL. [IRNA]
Of course Palestinian militant groups are in no position to attack UNIFIL but they will be used again to set off the next wave of war as they were used in June to begin the fighting against Israel with the raid and capture of an Israeli soldier. Not only could Damascus-Tehran have Palestinian militant units attack Israel from Gaza, but this time there could be action in the West Bank directed at the world’s most significant spiritual target and magnet-Jerusalem. All Tehran has to do to inflame the regional situation is to have a unit attack the Al Aqsa mosque, one of the most spiritually significant moques in the Islamic world. It would have even more impact than Iran’s explosion of the golden dome of the Shi’ite mosque in Samarra last February, which was used to set off the sectarian violence still raging in Iraq.
Tehran has no intention of just using the next incidents to attack Israel. Israel will be the first of a series of targets that will now be expanded to remove UNIFIL. Tehran has prepared for years to meet the West’s response.
In Cairo I suspect Haniyeh alerted Egypt President Hosni Mubarak as to what was coming and they know war against the West and Israel is popular among Egypt’s population, which Mubarak has lost touch with. In Doha, capital of Qatar Haniyeh may have received more financing. Right after the ceasefire in Lebanon in August Qatar Emir Sheikh Hamad ibn Khalifah al-Thani visited Beirut and praised Hezbollah, then stated he wished oil had been used as a weapon, yet Western international affairs analysts probably still classify him as a moderate and an ally of the West.
In Tehran the planning will become more specific, the timetable of crises Iran will put into military – spiritual motion. The Palestinian action could begin as Hezbollah – Tehran increases their hold over Lebanon.