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No clash in sight. Ashkenazi
Photo: Avi Moalem
Scene of attack in Jordan
Photo: AFP
'Ashkenazi blamed Hezbollah for Jordan attack'
According to leaked document, IDF chief of staff told diplomatic sources Shiite Lebanese group was involved in attempted attack on Israeli convoy. UN coordinator fears UNIFIL won't be able to contain clash on border

Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi estimated that Hezbollah had a hand in the attempted attack on members of the Israeli embassy in Jordan last year, a US State Department document published Wednesday by WikiLeaks revealed.

 

 

The document was authored on January 29, 2010 following a meeting between American Ambassador to Lebanon Michele Sison and UN special coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams.

 

According to the document, Williams told the American diplomat about his meetings in Israel with Lieutenant-General Ashkenazi, former Foreign Ministry Director-General Yossi Gal and Brigadier-General Yossi Hyman.

 

Williams visited Israel a few days after a demolition charge exploded near a convoy of Israeli embassy members in Jordan. Luckily, no one was injured in the incident.

 

In their meeting, the chief of staff estimated that Hezbollah had limited involvement in the attempted attack, which Israeli senior officials say targeted the Israeli ambassador to Amman.

 

However, Ashkenazi also noted that the attack was planned with simplicity that is not typical of the Lebanese Shiite organization.

 

Williams told Sison that Ashkenazi did not foresee a clash with Hezbollah in the near future, but warned of the organizations' attempts to acquire anti-aircraft missiles and try to avenge the death of Imad Mughniyah.

 

The document also noted that Israeli officials expressed concern over the activity of Palestinian groups in Lebanon, especially at the refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh.

 

Williams told the American ambassador that in the event of a missile attack against Israel – perpetrated by either Hezbollah or Palestinian organizations in Lebanon – it will retaliate in force.

 

The UN diplomat said he feared UNIFIL would not be able to contain an escalation at the border, and claimed everything that has been achieved in the area might go down the drain within 12 hours.

 

 

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