Saturday, July 29, 2006

United Press International - Intl. Intelligence - Israeli army divided, resistance tough

United Press International
Israeli army divided, resistance tough

TEL AVIV, Israel, July 28 (UPI) -- As Israeli troops sustained considerable casualties in the fighting in south Lebanon, the Israeli military appeared divided over the course of operations.

Disagreement broke out between the Mossad intelligence service and military intelligence at a meeting of the inner cabinet for security and political affairs Thursday over the evaluation of Hezbollah's force and capacity to resist a long offensive.

The two sides also could not agree on the extent of damage inflicted on Hezbollah's military infrastructure as a result of military operations which have been going on without respite for the past 17 days, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Friday.

In addition to differences between the intelligence apparatuses, sharp criticism was voiced within the military institution about the course of military operations in south Lebanon, reflecting confusion over the proceeding of the war conduct.

The military correspondent at Israel's Channel One television reported that high-ranking IDF officers are highly critical of the way military operations are being executed in south Lebanon and have accused military intelligence of underestimating Hezbollah's strength and failing to prevent the Shiite group from kidnapping Israeli soldiers despite previous unsuccessful attempts.

The officers charged that army command in north Israel failed to sound the alarm following Hezbollah's attack in the Ghajar area last November, which the army considered an attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

The ongoing war in Lebanon was sparked by Hezbollah's kidnapping of two soldiers on July 12, which it sought to swap for Lebanese and Arab prisoners in Israeli jails.

The officers were highly critical of the way the commander of the northern front, Gen. Udy Adam, was leading the operations in south Lebanon.

They went as far as requesting Army Chief of Staff Dan Halutz "to act like other chiefs of staff had acted during previous wars by appointing support officers on the side of the officers who fail to prove themselves during the war in Lebanon."

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