Israelis in West Africa in 'Hezbollah State'

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Officials are concerned that Israelis living in West African countries face threats from the terrorist group Hezbollah, which is supported by Lebanese locals in Africa.

At risk are Israeli employees in the diamond mining industry in countries including Sierre Leone, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. Israelis also work in agriculture, communications and security-related businesses.

Hezbollah has threatened to retaliate against Israel for the assassination of terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyah in February, and Israeli intelligence has targeted West Africa as a danger zone for Israelis.

Following the Israeli Defense Department's warning of potential attacks by Hezbollah terrorists on Monday, some companies began evacuating employees who live in the vicinity of the diamond mines.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, while families are on summer vacation, employers will evaluate whether it's safe to send Israeli employees back to their jobs.

One Israeli diamond merchant said even without the latest warning, it's a dangerous place to live and work.

"They've got bribery and crime. The police don't function, and Israelis wandering around there are completely exposed and utterly unprotected," he said.

"There are Muslim countries there, pro-Arab with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which are a very easy berth for Hezbollah activity," he said.

Source: Haaretz

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