Dear Gideon, One must take into account a number of unprecedented facts. The Saudi monarch flew into Damascus,then together with Pres.B.Assad, they together departed for Beirut. We all know the reason. Hizbullah is not a ragtag militia, they are most certainly the most powerful force in Lebanon,any verdict,passed against said militia involving its leadershio in the killing of Mr.Rafiq Hariri could well create total chaos in Lebanon. Futhermore, the recent firings of rockets against Sderot and Ashkelon has created another diversion, followed by the unusual missile attacks on Eilat and Aqaba. The US president, is detemined to engage with Tehran on some rather serious talks. Whilst Israel may not be happy, the Gulf States are truly worried that a regional war is far closer than many wish to believe. The outreaching power of Tehran, far surpasses the theorectical musings of those specialists in ME politics. Tehran, needs to heat up the region, show the West that it cannot be trifled with, that any talks with Washington comes at a price. The recent clash with the Lebanese Army, may well have been premeditated as shown, since all parties were advised 3 hours before said tree pruning operation. Now, here is where I agree with you, Israel, the IDF know quite well how the political stakes lie, they know how sensitive all the borders have become. Then again, it could well be that since these scrub clearing operations are quite frequent, no one actually gave much attention, for the Lt.Col., was basically out in the open together with his Captain, who is critically wounded. We have both served in ZAHAL, we both know, how to behave in a critical zone. We also know, that Hizbullah military wing members serve in the LAF. Finger pointing and blame, should be placed more on the current political mess, where neither ZAHAL commanders, nor the LAF commanders wish for another war. Best wishes. Stephen.
Peace talks on Cyprus reunification making significant progress, says president (AP)
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