Jerusalem, April 13 –Israel is concerned that more weapons will end up in the hands of Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon as a ceasefire took hold in Syria Thursday (April 12).
Jerusalem is reportedly concerned that the Assad regime’s huge stockpile of chemical and other non-conventional arms will flow across the porous Syrian border into Lebanon.
“We are talking in terms of thousands of missiles that might move to Hezbollah and might endanger the whole Middle East,” said Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, a Labor Party member in the coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in January.
The fragile U.N.-brokered ceasefire began Thursday morning, with Assad’s forces halting their widespread attacks on civilians across the country despite reported incidents of scattered violence. Kofi Annan, the former U.N. secretary-general and current international envoy to Syria, told the U.N. Security Council he was “encouraged” that both sides appeared to be honoring the truce.
Israeli officials’ concerns about the missiles, however, have been backed up by longtime observers of the region.
"[Syria's] WMDs could be smuggled into Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank or elsewhere. In the past, Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have all attempted to acquire chemical or biological weapons. In a sign of precisely how destabilizing some view this threat, Israeli officials have warned that Syria transferring chemical weapons to Hezbollah would constitute a declaration of war," James P. Farwell wrote in the National Interest on April 5.
Hezbollah already has more than 40,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel – more than it possessed on the eve of the 2006 war with Israel.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has repeatedly called for an end to Syria’s transfer of weapons to Iran-funded Hezbollah. This movement of arms to Hezbollah contravenes U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which states “there will be no weapons without the consent of the Government of Lebanon.”
In the meantime, Hezbollah’s backing for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his slaughter of his people is punishing Hezbollah’s political wing on the home front.
“In Lebanon, (Hezbollah leader) Hassan Nasrallah is losing a lot of his supporters who are fed up with him and the duplicity of his policies, especially in light of his support for the systematic and atrocious slaughter perpetrated by the Assad regime,” wrote the pan-Arabic daily Al-Hayat. “In Syria, slogans are being chanted against him and his party, calling for him to be fought on par with the regime of Bashar al-Assad that is slaughtering the people. Hezbollah is even being accused of participating in the killing of Syrians alongside the Shabbiha, or the regime’s thugs.”
Hezbollah’s terrorism and financial operations are not restricted to the Middle East. The organization hashundreds of operatives in the United States with thousands of donors, according to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security.