A well-informed Lebanese source, who spoke on condition of anynomity, told As-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Saad Hariri were reportedly informed during their trips abroad – referring to Sleiman’s trips to France and the US, and Hariri’s visit to Turkey– that Israel is planning to soon attack Lebanon.
The source said that France warned Hariri in 2006 before the July War that Israel was preparing to carry out a massive operation along Lebanon’s border. Hariri immediately conveyed the message to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, added the source.
As-Sharq al-Awsat also cited other reports in the foreign media warning against an Israeli war on Lebanon. The new attack would be similar to the Gaza offensive when the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched a surprise attack and destroyed Palestinian police stations in the strip last year, said the source.
He added that the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) would be Israel’s first target, especially since the LAF’s military bases’ locations are out in the open, unlike Hezbollah’s secret hideouts.
Meanwhile, Future bloc MP Ghazi Youssef told the daily that the Israeli threats are serious, adding that Tel Aviv wants to destabilize the region. “Israel’s goal is [to attack] Lebanon, not Hezbollah. The proof is that every time Lebanon has a real chance to prosper, an [Israeli] aggression [occurs]. Israel is exploiting the regional conflict with Iran,” adding that neither Hezbollah nor any other party should give Tel Aviv an excuse to launch a new war on Lebanon. (Now Lebanon)