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Hezbollah has prepared fresh battle plans of its own amid an unprecedented rearming, recruiting and training drive since 2006. It reportedly has 40,000 rockets now, more than double the figure prior to 2006. [csmonitor.com]
11:08 Washington urges Israel and Syria to calm tensions (Army Radio)
13:12 Report: Ex-Soviet scientist helped Iran on nuclear development (DPA)
13:15 Iran FM to attend Munich meeting, putting nuclear row center stage (Reuters)
1:06pm Sfeir: The possibilities of war are on as long as Hizbullah wants to play the role of the state.
"Our Russian colleagues have assured us they'll meet their obligations," says Iranian envoy. (about the S-300)
The help of ex-Soviet scientists Iran to possess nuclear warhead
According to a newspaper report that Iran should have an advanced nuclear warhead, which was developed with the help of a former Soviet nuclear scientist. Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency estimate that Iran is in a position to build a bomb for his medium-range missiles.
According to a newspaper report, Iran has developed with the help of a scientist from a former Soviet nuclear weapons lab the blueprints for an advanced nuclear warhead. Relevant information from a paper summarizing the state of knowledge of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna was confirmed by Western intelligence agencies and diplomats, reports the Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to the IAEA inspectors would work the warhead.
Last conciliatory tone of President Ahmadinejad could be heard - he was willing to compromise in the nuclear dispute.
When the weapon is, the report says is a two-point implosion system. Unlike older models that needed only two special warhead fuse, called Exploding Bridgewires (EBWs). This would reduce the diameter of the extent that it would be small enough to be shot down with the Iranian medium-range missile Shahab-3. Iran has admitted to the IAEA, of having made experiments for the synchronous firing of several EBWs.
Iran would be without the help of the man, whose identity the paper according to the report is known, probably not been estimated by the IAEA inspectors to that total was in the situation. He should have worked from the mid-nineties until 2000, possibly until 2002 for Iran.
The IAEA experts judge that Iran has enough information for the assistance of the man has to develop a workable nuclear explosive device after the Implosion and build, based on highly enriched uranium.
The IAEA had shown two years ago and documents that prove that Iran has worked until the beginning of the decade of nuclear weapons. At that time, the Vienna agency had set out plans for construction of a warhead and explanations of how this could be built on a rocket. Since 2003, Iran officially but works together with the IAEA.
debkafile Iranian and military sources report the war threats from Damascus this week were backed by massive Iranian airlifts for boosting Syria's missile arsenal. Fresh supplies also reached the Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas in Gaza. Wednesday, Feb. 3, Syrian president Bashar Assad accused Israel of seeking war, while his foreign minister Walid Moallem boasted: "You know that war at this time will come to your cities." They spoke after taking delivery of 100 new medium-range surface-to-surface missiles from Iran in January.
15:06 Russia FM: UN Security Council may have to debate Iran nuclear issue (Reuters)
Will you shut up already?
Israel’s babbling government ministers pushing region to brink of war
Published: 02.05.10, 14:42 / Israel Opinion
When the Netanyahu government was formed – the most overly inflated government in Israel’s history – we heard much criticism about its outrageous number of ministers. Most charges had to do with the wasting of public funds, setting a bad example, indifference, and the stench of political corruption.
Yet now it turns out that a much graver danger was lurking in the shadows. All these ministers and deputy ministers simply cannot shut up for a moment. They sit there in a government devoid of vision or momentum - some of them hold ridiculous posts, while others don’t hold any post at all – and in the absence of an objective or work, they try to justify their existences via endless chatter.
So we see Yossi Peled being interviewed during a cultural event in Beersheba and predicting another round of fighting in the north this year. Meanwhile, Daniel Hershkowitz boasts of the Mossad’s fine performance during a government session. Ehud Barak tells senior officers that diplomatic impasse will prompt war with Syria. Benjamin Netanyahu boasts at the Caesarea Conference that talks with the Palestinians are expected to renew within weeks, and at the same time also slams Damascus. Finally, Avigdor Lieberman warns Assad that Israel will be toppling his regime.
Within the space of one week, this government of chatterboxes, who do too little and talk too much, managed to bring the Mideast to the boiling point. We’ve never seen anything like that before; this is reckless abandon, pure and simple.
As far as I know, there is no other government in the world where each member feels free to make statements on diplomatic and security issues. Only in Israel, every deputy minister of nothing is a potential strategic expert. It’s as though an arrogant bunch took its place at the heart of the world’s most volatile region, and now its members are competing with each other on who would dare to hold a burning match as close as possible to the powder keg’s fuse.
They deal with the most sensitive issues of life and death, war and peace, yet show no sense of responsibility or sound judgment. They’re only good at talking. Had our neighbors realized how empty of all substance these words are, perhaps they would have refused to get overly excited. Regrettably, they insist on taking seriously the statements of the people who make pretenses of talking on behalf of Israel’s government.
It appears there is no point in quoting the timeless advice of Theodore Roosevelt to these glory hounds: “speak softly and carry a big stick.”
Hamas terrorists are on high alert because they fear Israel will attack them in the coming days. According to a report in a Kuwaiti newspaper Thursday, the Hamas Al-Kassam Brigades has information that Israel will strike out against the terror group after January 25, when the current Palestinian Authority Assembly's term of office is up – and Hamas, according to Israel, loses its legitimacy to rule Gaza. Hamas terror cells have been placed in numerous parts of Gaza, on guard for the expected Israeli attack, the report says.
On Wednesday, Al-Kassam Brigade terrorists reported on the death of a top Hamas terrorist. Mahmoud Abed al-Mahuch, 50 years old, died of unspecified "medical problems," the group said. He was a major architect of several terror attacks and attempts to kidnap IDF soldiers.
22:49 Iran`s foreign minister demands changes to IAEA nuclear plan (DPA)
16:26 Iran FM says had `very good meeting` with IAEA chief in Munich Saturday (Reuters)
18:09 IAEA Chief: I didn`t receive Iranian counter proposal on nuclear fuel swap (Reuters)
07:20 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Iran clearly has nuclear ambitions (Ch. 10)
12:52 U.S. Defense Secretary plays down chances of nuclear deal with Iran (Reuters)
10:41 Iran officially starts production of two new missiles (Reuters)
11:40 Syria: We could go in the path of peace, but also of war (Israel Radio)
12:36 Bar-On: Kadima won`t join gov`t because Netanyahu thinks like Lieberman (Army Radio)
13:28 MK Tibi to Al-Jazeera: Lieberman`s comments are the real face of the gov`t (Haaretz)
14:46 Report: Hezbollah readies its armed forces in Lebanon for possible attack (Ch. 10)
18:29 Russia: New Iran sanctions should target nuclear proliferation, not economy (Reuters)
The French daily Le Figaro had reported that there were plans to decrease the number of peacekeepers stationed in south Lebanon.
Amos Gilad, Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Israeli Defense Ministry, said Friday that Israel's new anti-missile system will not be deployed on the front with Gaza as expected, but rather kept on the front with Lebanon to counter Hizbullah's attacks in case of conflict with its regional sponsor Iran.
A U.S. official has expressed concern over the presence of arms outside the control of the Lebanese state saying such a fact paves way for war similar to the Israel-Hizbullah conflict in 2006.
Informed Lebanese sources have said that Hizbullah cadres have been on alert in all Lebanese regions and the party's officials have been advised to take precautions against any possible Israeli attack.
The sources told the Saudi Okaz daily in remarks published Saturday that "the party is preparing for all military possibilities."
"It is betting on containing the first strike of any Israeli aggression," the sources said, adding that "containing the attack would bridge half of the victory path."
Deputy Hizbullah leader Sheikh Naim Qassem said the party hasn't received any indications of Israeli readiness to launch war on Hizbullah or in the region.
Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat has expressed concern over a new Israeli war on Lebanon amid "failure of peace efforts and of U.S. policies" in the region.
Jumblat described as madness the current situation in the Middle East and told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that "Israel at times threatens Lebanon and at other times threatens Syria and then Iran.
He said "the entire region was in a state of chaos."
"In the presence of such chaos, the Israelis could launch a new war," the Druze leader added.
"We have a choice here: to go to tough economic sanctions to make diplomacy work or we will face the prospect of military action against Iran," Lieberman told the annual Munich Security Conference.
Top U.S. commanders are already working out how such a strike should be conducted, and although "no-one wants this to happen ... unless we together act strongly and do more than talk that is exactly what will happen," Lieberman said.
Two Israeli missile boats pass through Egypt's Suez Canal en route to Red Sea, according to Arab media reports; Cairo adopts strict security measures to ensure ships' safety. Egyptian sources estimate vessels headed to Persian Gulf
02:15 Report: Hezbollah preparing for IDF attack, raises alert level in Lebanon (Haaretz)
08:19 Human Rights Watch: Israel failing to conduct impartial Gaza probe (AP)
09:42 Iran state TV: Ahmadinejad orders work to begin on 20 percent nuclear fuel (Reuters)
12:20 Qassam rocket fired from Gaza lands in western Negev desert, none hurt (Haaretz)
12:46 U.S. Defense Sec. Gates: Iran response on nuclear deal `very disappointing` (Reuters)
13:00 Gates urges int. community to stand together to bring pressure on Iran (Reuters)
13:13 Senior Hamas official: Reconciliation with Fatah imminent (Ma`an)
The secret transfer of the mobile surface-to-surface Syrian-made Fateh-110 (range 250km) missile to Hizballah sparked the prediction Friday, Feb. 5 from an unnamed US official that cross-border arms smuggling from Syria into Lebanon outside state control was "very dangerous" and "paved the way to war similar to Israel-Hizballah conflict of 2006. debkafile's military sources report hat Israel warned Syria through at least two diplomatic channels against Hizballah using this lethal weapon, which is capable of reaching almost every Israel city.
Our sources disclose: Syria pulled the wool of Israel's eyes for the transfer by openly training Hizballah in the use of SA-2 and SA-6 surface-to-surface missiles. Israel had warned it would deem their passage into Lebanon Syrian casus belli by Syria.
The Fateh-110 is still more lethal, accurate and dangerous than the SA-2 and SA-3. it confronts Israel now with a Hizballah armed with a solid-fuel propellant, road-mobile, single-stage, short-range ballistic system weighing three tons with a half-ton warhead and a range of 250 kilometers. It is not deployed in surface batteries but fired from mobile launchers, which the solid propellant renders capable of firing at speed with little advance preparation, before returning to the fortified underground silos Hizballah has sunk in mountain areas across Lebanon.
These features make the Fateh-110 a very tough target for Israeli bombers to strike.
According to our intelligence sources, Israel posted warnings against Hizballah using the weapon through US Middle East envoy George missile who called on president Bashar Assad in Damascus on January 20 and ,even more emphatically, through Spanish foreign minister Miguel Moratinos who arrived in Syria on Feb. 3 after talks in Jerusalem. The message he carried was that if Hizballah ventured to fire the Fateh-110, Israel was determined to hit back at strategic and military targets inside Syria.
This warning instantly prompted the war rhetoric which emanated from Assad and his foreign minister Walid Moallem. Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, known for his undiplomatic, blunt style, responded by warning Syria that it stood to lose the next war and the Assad family would lose its grip on power in Damascus.
Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak are presumed to have endorsed the first part of Lieberman's comment as representing their own view. But the minister added the personal threat on Syria's leaders on his own initiative.
"Lebanon is safe from Israeli attacks during the next three months," The daily Ad-Diyar quoted a European official as saying.
Ad-Diyar also quoted the Turkish tourism minister as saying that Ankara is in "contact with Israel almost daily in an effort to discourage it from carrying out any aggression against Lebanon."
13:54 Germany: Iran must realize `patience at an end` over nuclear dispute (Reuters)
18:01 Syria ready to respond to Israeli `aggression,` minister warns (DPA)
18:20 Report: Iran successfully tests radar-evading aircraft (Reuters)
“Syria will stand alongside the government and people of Lebanon against any possible Israeli aggression launched on Lebanon,”
Iran's plan to enrich uranium would break five U.N. Security Council Resolutions, the British government says - Reuters
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel wants peace with Syria and the Palestinians, following a fierce exchange of words with Damascus that raised tensions in the region.
"Israel wants peace with all its neighbours. We made peace with Egypt and Jordan and we seek peace with Syria and the Palestinians," Netanyahu said at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting.
The hawkish premier said the renewal of negotiations on both tracks should have no preconditions and that any peace agreement must guarantee Israel's "security interests."
"I hope that we will soon renew the talks with the Palestinians and we are open for the renewal of negotiations with Syria," Netanyahu said.