HEZBOLLAH OPENLY MOVING FIGHTERS CLOSE TO ISRAEL'S BORDERS
MARCH 20 2008
CLIP FROM ARTICLE ---> Hezbollah the past few days openly moved fighters close to the Israeli border.
As Jews around the world celebrate the holiday of Purim,
Israel today raised its statewide terror alert to the second highest level,
fearing a massive revenge attack after the assassination last month of
Hezbollah's arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyah.
The terror leader topped Israel's most wanted list and was responsible for a series of infamous deadly attacks against the U.S. and Israel, including involvement in the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert denied Israel was involved in the extermination, but Hezbollah directly blamed the Jewish state and threatened retaliation.
This Sunday marks the end of the Islamic 40-day mourning period for Mughniyah. Palestinian and other Islamic terror groups have several times carried out what the called revenge attacks following the mourning period for a killed terrorist leader.
Through the weekend Israelis will be celebrating Purim, a holiday that commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people of the ancient Persian Empire from Haman's plot to annihilate them.
Israel traditionally goes on high alert for Purim, but this year, Israeli security officials say they have specific information indicating Hezbollah might be planning a large-scale attack either within Israel, abroad or both.
To that affect, Israeli forces imposed a complete closure of the West Bank and beefed up police forces throughout the country, particularly in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Sources in the Israel Defense Forces told WND the army reinforced units in the north of the country fearing a possible outbreak of hostilities with Hezbollah at the Lebanese border. According to Lebanese newspaper reports Hezbollah the past few days openly moved fighters close to the Israeli border.
The IDF also beefed up its presence along the Israel-Gaza border fearing a possible coordinated attack from both Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.
According to Israeli media reports, the government here instructed all missions abroad to go on high alert for the possibility Hezbollah will target Israeli interests overseas.
Mughniyah was killed in a bombing in Damascus last month. He led Hezbollah's "international terror branch," orchestrating attacks against foreign targets, according to Israeli security officials.
Mughniyah was accused of helping to plan the 1983 Marine barracks attack in which 300 were killed and also the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut the same year, killing 63 people.
He was responsible for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA passenger jet and the murder of one of its passengers, a soldier in the U.S. Navy. Mughniyah was indicted for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people. A warrant was issued for his arrest for the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires in which 29 people died. Argentinean officials have publicly pointed a finger at Iran for aiding in those attacks.
Also, serving as commander of Islamic Jihad in the 1980s, Mughniyah was accused of kidnapping dozens of Western hostages, including Americans, killing some of them, such as the CIA's Middle East station chief.
According to foreign press reports, the Mossad reportedly tried to assassinate Mughniyah in a complex operation in southern Beirut in the 1990s.
Mughniyah reportedly lived a secretive life, routinely switching between locations in Syria, Lebanon and Iran. He is thought to have undergone multiple plastic surgeries and changed identities numerous times.
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