Tension rises between Israel, Syria and Lebanon

28 October 2003
Israel's Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz on 28 October claimed that members of Hezbollah in Lebanon are planning a large attack near the northern border of Israel. 'We have a very deep understanding that - [Hezbollah] are planning a more significant attack than artillery and anti-tank fire at Israeli soldiers,' Mofaz said during a tour of an industrial zone near the Israel-Gaza border. Stressing that the army was ready for any such incident, the Israeli northern command army chief Benny Ganz said that the current state of affairs could lead to a 'situation in which we will have to use very, very strong force'.

Israel's announcement followed a statement from Beirut and Damascus on 27 October, which said that the two countries have come to an agreement on how best to 'confront challenges and enemy threats to which both Syria and Lebanon are exposed'. Local reports have stated that senior military officials met to discuss Israel's continued violation of Lebanese airspace and Israel's air attack inside Syria on 5 October (MEED 27:10:03; 6:10:03).

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