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A senior Israeli defense official was quoted by Israeli newspaper WND as saying that the Jewish state is on heightened alert for possible attacks by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization in Lebanon.

The official reportedly said that Israel is concerned that Hezbollah might try to spark a conflict to deflect attention from an international tribunal investigating the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in a car bomb explosion in 2005.

The probe is reportedly set to indict members of Hezbollah for the murder. The indictments may come as soon as the next few weeks, reports have claimed.

Hezbollah is reportedly deeply concerned about the political fallout within Lebanon if its members are accused of murdering Hariri, the defense official said.

Israel is reportedly concerned that Hezbollah may try to carry out attacks against Israel similar to those that prompted the 2006 Lebanon War. During that conflict over 1200 Lebanese were killed mostly civilians and 160 Israelis mainly soldiers..

Discrediting STL

Hezbollah and Syria have attempted to discredit UN’s Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) . Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah claimed during a TV address that Israel was behind Hariri’s killing and that spies working for Israel planted “false evidence” blaming Hezbollah.

Last Sunday Syria issued arrest warrants against 33 people for allegedly misleading the U.N. investigation. The targets include figures close to Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri – Rafik Hariri’s son – including his media adviser, senior security officers and journalists working in Hariri-owned media outlets.

The tribunal’s mandate is to “prosecute persons responsible for the attack on 14 February 2005 resulting in the death of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and in the death or injury of other persons.” It was also tasked with a further extension of its jurisdiction beyond the 14 February 2005 bombing if there was evidence showing other attacks that occurred in Lebanon between 1 October 2004 and 12 December 2005 were connected and were of a similar nature and gravity to the original attack.

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