Following Lebanese media reports that Israel struck a shipment of Hezbollah's weapons on the Lebanon-Syria border Monday, a senior Israel Navy officer has warned that the Shi'ite militia is still actively trying to get hold of advanced weaponry.
"The major players in the arena are active and relevant. Hezbollah has not stopped for a second to try and get its hands on advanced weaponry," said Brigadier-General Eli Sharvit, commander of the Haifa naval base, and also responsible for naval affairs in the north.
Speaking to reporters about Syrian arms transfers to Hezbollah, Sharvit said, "The efforts of the organizations, including Hezbollah, to get their hands on attack weapons are not ceasing, and we have to deal with their desire."
Sharvit refused to respond to Monday's reports about Israeli strikes in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. He added, however, that the navy predicts that "advanced weaponry, including 'Yakhont' (long-range anti-ship) missiles, are in Hezbollah's hands."
"We are prepared for this, and we are getting ready for it," he said. It appears that the navy's predictions are based on assumptions regarding the way they believe ships operate, not on concrete evidence of the location of missiles.
Meanwhile, in Lebanon there are conflicting reports about those wounded in the alleged strikes, and about the alleged strike itself.
While Hezbollah denied there was an Israeli attack, sources from the organization told Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV that no one was wounded in the strikes. In addition, a website identified with a group opposing Hezbollah reported that Hassan Mansour, a senior figure in the militia, was killed in the strike, and that preparations were being made for his funeral in south Lebanon.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to comment on the reports. At a press conference Tuesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is in Israel on an official visit, he said, "I am not speaking about claims that have been made about what we did or didn't do. Our policy is clear - we do what we have to in order to secure Israel."
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