August 27, 2010

14:42 , 08.27.10


Direct Threat
Photo: AFP Israeli tank in Lebanese border Photo: AFP
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'IDF can destroy Lebanon army within 4 hours'

Lebanese paper says US envoy's advisor threatened Lebanese army chief with Israeli contingency plan following deadly border skirmish
Roee Nahmias

An senior advisor to US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell has threatened Lebanese army commander, Jean Kahwajim that should his army initiate additional fire exchanges with Israel, the IDF would annihilate his military within four hours, Lebanese newspaper al-Liwa reported Friday.
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According to the report, Frederick Hof spoke to Kahwaji on August 9, following the deadly border skirmish between Israel and Lebanon and informed him of the IDF contingency plan.

The report further quotes Mitchell's aide as telling the Lebanese commander that Israel had decided to carry out a plan "which would completely destroy the Lebanese army's bases, centers and offices within four hours."

Lieutenant-Colonel (res.) Dov Harari was killed in the border skirmish earlier this month and another officer was seriously injured. Firing began when IDF forces entered a border enclave in order to uproot a tree. Lebanon later blamed Israel for violating UN Resolution 1701.

Hof advised the Lebanese army chief to show restraint in any future border conflict with Israel.

US sources said a UNIFIL report which ruled that the tree was on Israel's side of the border sheds new light on the possible danger caused by the proximity between the Lebanese army and Hezbollah.