April 14, 2010

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Israel Says Syria Gave Missiles to Hezbollah Israeli officials say that Syria has delivered accurate long-distance Scud missiles to the Lebanese group Hezbollah, placing cities deep in Israel’s heartland, including Tel Aviv, within range. The officials added that the delivery of the missiles — strongly denied by Syria and yet to be confirmed by sources outside of Israel — would change the strategic balance in the area and increase the risk of war. The issue was raised by President Shimon Peres, who during a visit to Paris told journalists earlier this week, “Syria claims that it wants peace, while simultaneously delivering Scud missiles to Hezbollah, which is constantly threatening the security of the State of Israel.” He added, after meeting with the French prime minister, François Fillon, that Syria was playing “a double game.” Mr. Fillon, who was recently in the Syrian capital, Damascus, had told Mr. Peres that the government of President Bashar al-Assad wanted peace with Israel. Mr. Peres did not specify which type of Scud missiles had been delivered. However, aides accompanying him and officials in Jerusalem said that the missiles in question were of a ballistic nature normally used only by state armies. One official said they were Scud D’s, the most accurate and long range. “This creates a new situation,” another Israeli official said, insisting on anonymity because there were continuing diplomatic efforts to deal with the concern. “These are more accurate and far more dangerous.”

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