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sonz
06-29-2006, 12:03 PM
Israeli warplanes flew low over the presidential palace of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday, an operation denounced by Syrian state TV as an “aggressive act and an unacceptable provocation”, AFP reported.

A report by Israel’s Channel 10 television said that the operation provided "a way for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to prove the long arm of the Israeli army.”

Tensions are escalating in the Middle East after Israel launched an “extensive” military offensive in the Gaza Strip, claiming that it’s aimed at freeing Cpl Gilad Shalit, who was captured Sunday in a raid claimed by three different Palestinian resistance groups – including the armed wing of the ruling party Hamas.

Israel blamed the Hamas-led Palestinian government and President Mahmoud Abbas for the abduction. The Jewish state also claimed that Hamas’ leaders exiled in Damascus, including political supreme leader Khaled Meshaal, are also responsible for the kidnapping.

Israel’s Public Security Minister Avi Dichter claimed that Syria ignored Israeli warnings about sheltering Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders.

"This therefore gives Israel full permission to attack these assassins," said Dichter, a former chief of Israel's domestic security agency Shin Beth.

Israel has always pointed the finger at Meshaal, 50, who survived an assassination attempt by Mossad agents when they tried to poison him in Jordan in 1997.

"He (Meshaal) is definitely in our sights... He is a target. As someone who is overseeing, actually commanding the terror acts, (he) is definitely a target," said Justice Minister Haim Ramon.

A close aide to Meshaal told AFP that the exiled leader was unafraid of Israeli threats. "Abu al-Walid (Meshaal) believes in God and in fate. The Israeli threats do not scare him," the aide said. "He is used to living dangerously."

Israel always resorts to targeted assassinations in response to mounting waves of violence. Hamas’ spiritual leader and co-founder Ahmed Yassin and his successor Abdel Aziz Rantissi were both killed in Israeli air strikes within a month of each other in 2004.

In another development, Israeli army officials said they were on high alert for any retaliatory strikes by the Syrian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, raising fears that the escalating crisis between Israel and the Palestinians could spread through the region.

An army spokeswoman claimed that Israel wasn’t preparing an offensive but merely preparing its units along the northern border to "be prepared to face any likely scenario," she said.

Hezbollah, also backed by Syria's key ally Iran, has carried out several resistance attacks along the Israeli-Lebanese border, forcing Israel to withdraw its forces from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Some analysts say Israel used the soldier's abduction to launch a full-scale offensive in Gaza, target Hamas’ exiled leaders in Syria and justify more attacks against Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed his concern over the escalating Middle East violence, and urged all sides to avoid spreading the conflict. "We need to be very careful, not only not to escalate but not to expand the area of the conflict," Annan said of the Israeli sortie over Assad's palace.

"So it's very important that we all take very careful steps to deescalate and not take any action or initiative that would expand or escalate the situation," he said.
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Isaac
06-29-2006, 12:35 PM
apparemtly they tried to fire at the planes, but missed, they should have taken them out for violation of air spcae. something which america would see as anct of war. unfortunakty they missed. i hate to say this but i can see a major war breaking out soon. i pray that it does not come to this for the sake of the innocent people.
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Nablus
06-29-2006, 02:34 PM
Israel wants to rule over the Arab world . Inshallah its will will not come true
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Geronimo
06-29-2006, 03:17 PM
Originally Posted by Isaac
apparemtly they tried to fire at the planes, but missed, they should have taken them out for violation of air spcae. something which america would see as anct of war. unfortunakty they missed. i hate to say this but i can see a major war breaking out soon. i pray that it does not come to this for the sake of the innocent people.
Why would the US see this as an act of war? Once it goes into sovereign air spaces it is well within Syria's right to take it out.
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root
06-29-2006, 04:14 PM
Why would the US see this as an act of war? Once it goes into sovereign air spaces it is well within Syria's right to take it out.
Having the right and having the means are the difference between fighter jets flying over your head or not!
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root
06-29-2006, 04:15 PM
Israel wants to rule over the Arab world . Inshallah its will will not come true
And what was the Arab intention when it went to war with Israel. To impose a Jewish state!
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Geronimo
06-29-2006, 04:39 PM
Originally Posted by root
Having the right and having the means are the difference between fighter jets flying over your head or not!
This is true
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