Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has warned Syria to restrain Islamic Hizbollah guerillas operating on the Israeli border with Lebanon. "Syria does nothing at all in order to stop Hizbollah," Ben-Eliezer told reporters during a visit to northern Israel, his first to the area since taking office. He said Syria, the main power in Lebanon, has not been cracking down on the organization's arms or infrastructure. "I see Syria and especially the government of Lebanon as those mainly responsible," Ben Eliezer said, adding that the Lebanese government should deploy its troops along the border instead of allowing it to remain under Hizbollah control. He said if Hizbollah steps up attacks, Israel will have no choice but to retaliate severely. "Israel cannot show restraint forever," he said.


Hizb'Allah militiamen launched a guided anti-tank missile across the Lebanese border at an IDF patrol, killing Israeli tank crewman St.-Sgt. Elad Litvak, 21, of Kibbutz Gazit. He is the third soldier killed by Hizb'Allah in the Mount Hermon region since the IDF's withdrawal from south Lebanon last May, while the Iranian-backed Shi'ite terrorist group also kidnapped three more IDF troops and an Israeli businessman last October.

2001-04-14 / 2001-04-15.
After the unprovoked attack, IDF artillery and IAF planes struck back at Hizb'Allah targets in the border area on both Saturday and Sunday. Then, shortly after midnight last night, three IAF jets ventured deeper into Lebanese airspace and destroyed a Syrian radar position in eastern Lebanon. Conflicting reports claimed either two or three Syrian soldiers were killed in the Israeli reprisal, which officials in Jerusalem warned was aimed at signaling Damascus that "the rules of the game have changed.

The Israeli action was discussed in a late evening meeting of Prime Minister Sharon's 13-man security cabinet, with 11 ministers voting to strike at a Syrian target, since Jerusalem holds Damascus responsible for Hizb'Allah's freedom of action in Lebanon. Former Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh termed the operation, the first against a Syrian position in Lebanon in five years, "One of Israel's most justified." Foreign Minister Shimon Peres labeled the attack "the bare minimum," while Internal Security Minister Uzi Landau added, "The finger on the trigger is that of Hizb'Allah, but at the end of the day Syria is behind everything that happens in Lebanon."

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