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Former IDF Northern Commander: "Keep an Eye on Hizbullah"

Gen. (ret.) Yossi Peled says there's no need to panic, but neither must we close our eyes as we did in the past.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 8/12/2007, 5:32 PM

Gen. (ret.) Yossi Peled says there's no need to panic in light of reports of Hizbullah activity, but neither must we close our eyes as we did in the past.

Responding to reports of intensified Hizbullah preparations in southern Lebanon, ex-IDF Northern District Commander Gen. Peled told Arutz-7 Hebrew radio, "There's no room for panic - but we must also be careful not to close our eyes, as happened in years past."

Peled was referring to reports that Hizbullah members are engaged in massive acquisitions of buildings and land in southern Lebanon, as part of their preparations for another attack against Israel.

"Regardless of these reports from the north," Peled said "Israel must keep its eyes open and not ignore the situation, as it did between 2000 [following Israel's hasty retreat from southern Lebanon, under then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak] and 2006 [the year of the Second Lebanon War]."

Peled noted with satisfaction that Israeli government leaders have been making somewhat fewer bellicose statements regarding the situation in the north.

"We do not have the luxury of being complacent," Peled said.  "This is clear from the fact that our recent wars started when our intelligence didn't foresee hostilities, while when there were worrisome intelligence reports, all was quiet...  Israel faces a complex situation in which we are threatened simultaneously from the north and from the south."