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"Israel" on high alert as end of Moghnieh mourning period draws near
Source: AP, 16-03-2008
AL-QUDS: "Israel" has placed its security forces on higher alert, beefed up security at diplomatic missions abroad and advised "Israeli" travelers to put off trips to Muslim states for fear Lebanese militants will carry out a revenge attack at the upcoming end of the mourning period for an assassinated arch-enemy, security officials say.
Hizbullah blames "Israel" for the Feb. 12 car bombing that killed Imad Moghnieh. The "Israeli" government has denied the charge, although military officials have been vaguer, refusing to confirm or deny involvement.
Immediately after Moghnieh's killing, "Israel" briefly put its military and embassies on alert, and advised Zionist institutions worldwide to do the same, fearing a large-scale revenge attack. Although "Israel" has no information about specific planned attacks, a heightened alert has been ordered now, too, with the customary 40-day mourning period for Moghnieh ending Saturday, security officials said.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not at liberty to disclose security plans.
Inside "Israel", security forces have been instructed to be especially vigilant against possible attacks by Hizbullah cells in Palestinian territories, officials said. Hizbullah is already suspected of involvement in a deadly attack on a al-Quds religious seminary earlier this month.
Immediately after the Moghnieh assassination, "Israeli" patrols were reinforced along the northern border with Lebanon, for fear of cross-border raids or kidnappings. That alert was later eased, and the border areas is not a focus of the current alert because the assumption is that Hizbullah already would have tried to carry out a revenge cross-border raid if it wanted to, security officials said.
"Israel" launched a fierce but inconclusive month long war with Hizbullah in the summer of 2006. The war killed 159 "Israelis" mostly soldiers and more than 1,000 Lebanese, most of them civilians, according to government tallies in both countries.
Hizbullah chief Sheik Hassan Nasrallah vowed at Moghnieh's funeral to retaliate against "Israeli" targets anywhere in the world, and "Israeli" precautions have been extended across the globe.
With the mourning period drawing to a close, "Israeli" missions abroad have been ordered to beef up patrols and carry out even more rigorous inspections.
The Shin Bet internal security agency has sent reinforcements to particularly sensitive targets, like embassies and representative offices, security officials said. They would not release any further information about the security measures.
"Israelis" traveling abroad on private business have been asked not to travel in large groups, particularly to Muslim states. Security services have advised a delegation of architects bound for Indonesia this week to put off their trip, and a travel advisory counseling "Israelis" to avoid Muslim states and spots abroad frequented by "Israelis" has remained in effect since the assassination.

17-03-2008 | 20:19



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