It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The visiting Gates urged patience, but Barak declared: "We clearly believe that no option should be removed from the table. This is our policy; we mean it. We recommend to others to take the same position, but we cannot dictate it to anyone."
While the United States also reserves the right to use force if need be, the Obama administration is playing down that possibility while it tries to draw Iran into talks about its disputed nuclear program and other topics. Gates said Washington still hopes to have an initial answer in the fall about negotiations.
"The timetable the president laid out still seems to be viable and does not significantly raise the risks to anybody," Gates said.
Senior IDF officers warn of Hezbollah move on Lebanon border
Tensions with Hezbollah have risen lately, especially since one of the organization's warehouses of Katyusha rockets in southern Lebanon blew up about two weeks ago. In response, defense officials have held several high-level consultations on the situation.
The explosion revealed that Hezbollah was still stockpiling rockets south of the Litani River, in violation of Lebanon's obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which marked the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
From Israel's standpoint, this revelation was advantageous: It caused the United States to convene a special Security Council session, which Hezbollah worries might influence the upcoming council debate on extending the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon. Hezbollah does not want UNIFIL to be allowed to expand its searches for arms in southern
Shortly after the explosion, a group of Shi'ite demonstrators staged a border provocation by crossing over into Israeli-controlled territory at Shaba Farms. Moreover, since then, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah has made two aggressive statements. In one, he vowed to reopen the question of the Lebanese "prisoners" held by Israel - though the only remaining such "prisoner" is a terrorist killed in 1978 whose body was subsequently lost. In the second declaration, this weekend, he claimed that Israel plans to attack Lebanon again within the year.
The explosion was merely the latest in a series of recent setbacks suffered by the organization, most of which it blames on Israel. The most serious was the assassination of senior Hezbollah official Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus in February 2008 - which, despite numerous attempts, the group has not yet succeeded in avenging