US Holds Israel Back From Massive Retaliation Attack Against Hizballah After Deadly Rocket Attack


11 August 2003

Sharon government held back by Washington from expected massive retaliation against Syrian targets after Hizballah shell killed Shlomi teenager in fresh attack Sunday.

Limited Israeli air raid that destroyed a Hizballah gun Sunday afternoon was considered in Jerusalem too feeble to deter further aggression.

US officials vetoed planned IDF major reprisal against Hizballah’s Syrian backers so as not to hamper prospects of Syrian cooperation through its intelligence and terrorist connections in capture of Saddam Hussein. Sharon government consented to “measured retaliation” for the time being.

In Hizballah shelling of Shlomi Sunday, 16-year old Haviv Dadon was killed, four civilians injured – one seriously.It was fourth Hizballah strike in four days, causing first Israeli fatality since IDF withdrew from Lebanon three years ago.

Towns and communities of northern Israel fear more Hizballah attacks will wreck tourist trade, almost only source of livelihood, and are nervous about opening school year on September 1. Sharon government faces insistent demand for strong military action to deter continuing Hizballah cross-border harassment

Official sources in Washington and Jordan attribute Jordanian embassy bombing in Baghdad to top al Qaeda operative Abu Musab al Zarqawi known to be in Iran. DEBKAfile adds: Zarqawi laid cornerstone for active operational ties in Iraq among Iran, al Qaeda, Saddam's loyalist guerrillas and Syria.