BriefIsraeli army uncovers new Hezbollah cell in Golan

Ali Musa Daqduq

It later annexed the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem in moves never recognised by the worldwide community.

"We hold the Syrian Regime as the sovereign its territory and expect it to honor the terms of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement", the military said on Tuesday, adding that "we expect it to prevent any hostile elements, including Hezbollah, from operating out of its territory".

"We are not going to allow Hezbollah to establish a terror infrastructure on the Golan capable of striking Israeli civilians", said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, Israeli military spokesman. The network was established without the knowledge of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the army said. "We will continue to use all means, overt and covert, to block Iran's effort to use Syria, Lebanon and Gaza as forward bases for attacking Israel".

"The release of the intelligence by Israel could be a deterrent but the establishment of a cell like that is fully consistent with Hezbollah's goals and modus operandi".

In 2012, Daqduq was released by Iraq due to lack of evidence after being accused of plotting to kill five USA soldiers in the Iraqi city of Karbala.

"So I have a clear message for Iran and for Hezbollah: Israel knows what you're doing; Israel knows where you're doing it. We know a lot more", Netanyahu said.

A masked gunman holds up a Hizbollah flag
A masked gunman holds up a Hizbollah flag Credit Reuters

Hours before the USA report was released, Israel accused a suspected Lebanese Hezbollah operative who was previously held in Iraq over the killing of five US military personnel of now setting up a guerrilla network on the Syrian-controlled side of the Golan for cross-border attacks.

He was sent to Iraq in 2005 after Iran asked Hezbollah to form a group to train Iraqis to fight coalition forces in the country and helped train and advise the militants in Jaysh al-Mahdi, now known as Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq.

The report appears to reflect the sentiments of a meeting between Senator Lindsey Graham, US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, where the three discussed plans to work towards US recognition of the Golan Heights as a part of Israel.

These displays of support for Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights come ahead of the early election in Israel, which is scheduled for 9 April.

Israel occupied the Golan Heights, West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and formally annexed the latter in 1980, declaring full sovereignty over the entire city in a move that remains unrecognised by the global community.

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