Thursday, July 13, 2006

Iranian Involvement

There's now word of another possible foreign connection to the recent surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence:
"Israel has concrete evidence that Hezbollah plans to transfer the two Israel Defense Forces soldiers abducted Wednesday to Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said Thursday.

"'We have concrete evidence that Hezbollah plans to transfer the kidnapped soldiers to Iran. As a result, Israel views Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran as the main players in the axis of terror and hate that endangers not only Israel, but the entire world,' AFP quoted Deputy Director General of the Foreign Ministry Gideon Meir as saying.

"An Al-Jazeera correspondent said Thursday that he had evidence that the two soldiers - identified Thursday as Ehud Goldwasser, 31, of Nahariya, and Eldad Regev, 26, of Kiryat Motzkin - were alive during the abduction. He said they were transferred to a Shi'ite mosque in a nearby town, where the abductors changed clothes. According to the report, one of the soldiers was transferred in a cab, to make it difficult for Israeli intelligence to locate him. The Al-Jazeera correspondent stressed that he had received the information from a source close to Hezbollah, and that members of the organization refuse to disclose more information with nothing in return."

Because I've always thought there was more Iranian money in Palestine than there was Syrian influence, my first guess at possible foreign movers in all this was Iran, as a way of using the conflict to win support in the Arab world in its confrontation with the United States over its nuclear program. While Mubarak mentioned Syria and Syria still looks to have more to gain, it's possible both are involved. I really doubt all this is about the Palestinians, who are once more becoming as much victims of politics between their supposed friends in the Muslim Middle East as they are of Israeli occupation.

UPDATE: Iran denies Israel's claims.


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