|Katyushas fired on Israel from Lebanon|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 08 January 2008 06:00|
As preparations are made for US President Bush's arrival in the Middle East tomorrow for an 8 day diplomatic tour, it seems Iranian elements are doing their best to cause chaos in the region. Last night two Katyusha rockets were fired from southern Lebanon into the town of Shlomi, causing damage to a house and lamppost. Nobody was hurt in the attack. Residents of the town had thought the noise of the rockets exploding was caused by a thunder storm, and so no alarm was raised. A previously unknown terrorist organization calling itself the "Bader Battalions of Jihad" claimed responsibility for the attack. During the Second Lebanon war, hundreds of Katyusha rockets rained down on northern Israel on a daily basis. The Katyushas have a much longer range than the Kassam rockets manufactured by Hamas, are more accurate and can contain over twice as much explosives.
Quote: "Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld confirmed that the rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon but did not say where the missile parts may have been produced. A similar rocket was fired from northern Gaza at Ashkelon last Thursday, the fifth Katyusha to be launched at the southern coastal city in recent years. IDF sources said that the Katyusha was apparently Iranian-made.
The Israeli government has stated they are holding Hizbullah responsible for the incident. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has said Israel does not intend to change the status quo in southern Lebanon. It is believed that despite the UN presence in the country, Hizbullah has been able to rebuild its infrastructure south of the Litani river, and has restocked its weapon cache with the help of Syria and Iran. Hamas also announced that they targeted Israeli ships stationed off the coast of Gaza today. And yesterday it was revealed that Iranian boats operating in the Straits of Hormuz had threatened the US fleet that they would carry out a terrorist attack. The Iranian vessels later withdrew.
Quote: "Cosgriff said the incident occurred at about 8:00 am local time Sunday as Navy cruiser USS Port Royal, destroyer USS Hopper and frigate USS Ingraham were on their way into the Persian Gulf and passing through the strait - a major oil shipping route. Five small boats began charging the US ships, dropping box-like objects in the water in front of one of the ships and forcing the US ships to take evasive manoeuvres, said Cosgriff, commander of the 5th Fleet and of naval forces in the US Central Command region. The Iranian boats came to less than 500 yards from the US formation and at one point broke into two groups, one group going to one side and the other to the others side of the Americans. Officials said there were no injuries. ''At one point during this encounter ... the ships received a radio call that was threatening in nature, to the effect that they were closing (in on) our ships and that the ships would explode - the US ships would explode,'' Cosgriff said.
One of the goals of President Bush's visit to the region is to strengthen moderate states and to isolate Iran further for failing to halt its Uranium enrichment programme. Perhaps these latest incidents are intended to be an Iranian show of strength, reminding Israel and the US that they still possess the power to make things very difficult for them in the Middle East. The Bible indicates that Iran will be one of the nations that will invade Israel during the war of Ezekiel 38-39. And as the nation continues to develop its nuclear programme and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, there is no doubt that Iran will play a big part in the fulfilment of this prophecy.