Israeli Army accuses Syria of Arming Hezbollah

A senior Israeli military official on Sunday accused Syria of arming Hezbollah in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution which ended the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese militia.

"Syria has become Hezbollah’s arms warehouse," military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told minister during the Israeli cabinet’s weekly meeting, according to another senior official.

"Hezbollah activists are doing whatever they want in Syria. Syria has removed all restrictions and through its irresponsible behavior it allows Hezbollah access to nearly all of its strategic capabilities."

Israel has repeatedly accused Syria of arming Hezbollah and allowing Iranian weapons into Lebanon in violation of Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended a 34-day war between Israel and the Lebanese militia two years ago.

Israeli officials have refrained from openly accusing Syria of supporting Hezbollah since the two states announced in May they were holding Turkish-mediated peace talks after an eight-year hiatus.

West Bank Rampage

Meanwhile, dozens of Jewish settlers rampaged through the West Bank town of Hebron after Israeli troops removed an illegal settlement outpost, Palestinian residents said.

"A settlement outpost was evacuated and several settlers were arrested," an Israeli army spokesman said. Military radio said five settlers had been arrested and charged with assaulting soldiers.

Witnesses said the settlers hurled rocks at houses, vandalized several Muslim graves in a local cemetery and slashed the tires of cars belonging to Palestinian residents near the Kiryat Arba settlement.

The violence broke out after Israeli security forces removed several settlers from a building outside an existing settlement.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak slammed the settlers’ actions, but also accused the legal system of leniency towards the Jewish population in the occupied West Bank.

"I would like to underline the severity of the actions and statements made by the extreme-right in the territories," Barak’s office quoted him as saying during a weekly cabinet meeting.

"I believe that the punishment is too soft and that the legal and justice system must pay attention to that," the former army chief said.

The incident came a day after more than 500 Palestinian police reinforcements fanned out across the town as part of a widening security crackdown to bolster stalled U.S.-backed peace talks.

(Agencies via Alarabiya.net)

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