Fearing Hezbollah retaliation; Israel deploys patriot missile battery
Israeli sources reported on Monday that the Israeli army deployed a battery of Patriot Missiles, made by the USA, near Haifa town in the northern part of the country, in fear of retaliation by the Lebanon-based Hezbollah party to last week’s assassination of Imad Mughaniya.
Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that the battery was put on standby on Sunday for the first time since the 2006 one month war with Hezbollah.
Haaretz added that Israel first deployed the patriot batteries during the Gulf War in 1991, and that these batteries failed to stop 39 missiles fired by the then Iraq- president Saddam Hussein.
Also, Israeli media sources said that these batteries are designed to intercept aircraft but the current scenario is that these missiles would shoot down rockets and unmanned drones.
Haaretz also quoted that Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barack, stating on Sunday that he expects Hezbollah to attempt to retaliate for the assassination of Mughaniya and that Syria and Iran would probably aid the party in the retaliation.
On Thursday, the Israeli army announced that they it decided to increase their state of alert on the Israeli-Lebanese borders.
Hezbollah blamed Israel for the assassination of Mughaniya, who topped Israel’s wanted list and was on the US wanted list, but Israel denied any involvement in the assassination.
The United States believes that Mughaniya is involved in the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in 1983, and Washington accuses him of abducting a senior CIA official in Beirut in 1984.
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