Why Israel Was Justified in Attacking Syria [Excerpts]
Binding United Nations Security Council resolutions over the last decade, including Resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1701 (2006), have called for the disbanding and disarming of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias in Lebanon, including in particular the disarming of the Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah. The edict has gone unheeded. These same resolutions also directed all member states to prevent the shipment of any weapons to such groups, an arms embargo which has also gone unheeded.
In fact, since Security Council Resolution 1701 passed in 2006 and ended the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah that the resolution said were started by Hezbollah, Israel has stood by and watched the re-arming of Hezbollah by Iran with the assistance of Syria. Hezbollah is now believed by Israeli Defense Force officials to have some 60,000 rockets and missiles – 10 times what it had in the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Last August, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah threatened Israel with the use of precision rockets in Hezbollah’s possession which, Nasrallah warned, could turn the lives of “hundreds of thousands of Zionists to real hell, and we can talk about tens of thousands of dead.”
Yet the international community has not lifted a finger to enforce the terms of the Security Council resolutions requiring the disarming of Hezbollah, not to mention the embargo on further arms shipments to Hezbollah. With Syria in a virtual death spiral and more sophisticated arms on their way to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel saw little choice but to enforce the Security Council resolutions itself for the sake of protecting its own civilian population.
“The best thing that Israel has been hoping for a long time is that the West will take control of these weapons,” said Tzahi HaNegbi, an MP from the ruling Israeli Likud party, who is close with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “But the world is not ready to take such a decision…so Israel finds itself facing a dilemma which we alone can resolve.”
Thus, after informing the Obama administration of its plans, Israel Air Force jets were reported to have bombed a convoy near Syria’s border with Lebanon, apparently targeting advanced Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles destined for Hezbollah. The trucks were evidently not carrying any chemical weapons. However, Israeli officials had warned previously that it would not tolerate the transfer of any “game-changing” weapons systems to Hezbollah that could give Hezbollah the means to neutralize Israel’s military edge in conducting air operations in the event of any future conflicts with the terrorist group.