VIDEO - The Shin Bet has decided that Israeli ministers will be accompanied by security guards during their private vacations abroad, following the assassination
commander Imad Mugniyah last week, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
Video courtesy of Infolive.tv
The General Security Service has improved the ministers' security procedures for fear that Hizbullah would attempt to avenge the killing, and the new instructions have been relayed to security officers at the various government offices.
The main fear is that the Shiite Islamic fundamentalist organization would target a minister, a Knesset member or a current or former defense official.
So far, most government ministers have been allowed to go on private vacations abroad without being accompanied by security guards. Many ministers tend to combine their vacations with official visits to foreign countries, but are only accompanied by security guards during the official part of the visit.
This is a weighty decision which also bears financial implications. The new procedure is expected to invade the ministers' privacy, as they will no longer be able to enjoy a private vacation without being followed by a "shadow". Secondly, the State will be forced to finance the security guards' air transportation and lodging.
The new security procedure has already been set in motion in recent days. Businesspeople and senior retired officers have also been instructed to remain alert during their trips abroad for fear of assassination or kidnapping attempts.
Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah
threatened to fight Israel
anywhere in the world during Mugniyah's funeral on Thursday.
"Israel entered the war in July 2006," he said. "The Zionist dubbed it the 'sixth war' although senior Israeli strategists called it the 'first war.' All of Israel, from the right to the left, agreed that it lost the war. The Winograd report did not manage to conceal this – the hundreds of failures and deficiencies, the lack of political and military leadership. Does the Winograd report not say this?"
The Hizbullah chief said his group was ready for "open war" with Israel if the Jewish state wanted it.
AP contributed to this report