Lebanese Attack Not Likely

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CBNNews.com - SHABA FARMS - Israeli officials dismissed Lebanese threats of an attack on the northern border, even after a prisoner exchange with the terrorist group Hezbollah, slated for Wednesday.

Recently, newly elected Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said that the Lebanese army would take the disputed area of Shaba Farms (Mount Dov) by force if necessary.

Shaba Farms is part of the Golan Heights, captured by Israel from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War. Israel annexed the entire Golan Heights 15 years later.

While Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and officials in his government have expressed a willingness to discuss the issue through direct negotiations, Syrian President Bashar Assad said any future Israeli-Lebanese negotiations about the area must include Syria.

In a related matter, Israeli officials sought to dispel concerns that Hezbollah might attack the northern border, either by attempting to kidnap more Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers or a cross-border attack on a northern Israeli town.

While an attack could occur, Israeli officials believe it is not likely to be successful.

Although the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terror group has increased its presence in southern Lebanon and substantially rearmed itself since the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, the IDF has also strengthened its presence along the northern border.

The IDF encouraged UNIFIL (United Nations) forces to take a stronger security stance inside Lebanon in preparation for Wednesday's prisoner swap.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, YNet news

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