Former Israeli Defense Minister MK Binyamin (Fouad) Ben-Eliezer said this week that Syria’s chemical weapons are “trickling” in to the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, the first claim by a senior politician, albeit not in the government, in Israel that one of the country’s nightmare scenarios is coming true.
Ben-Eliezer, a retired general who is now a lawmaker from the opposition Labor party, did not supply any evidence for his claim, but called for international intervention in the Syria’s civil war to stop mass civilian deaths.
“The process of weapon transferal to Hezbollah has begun,” he told The Associated Press. He refused to elaborate.
Ben-Eliezer also told Israel Radio that he had “no doubt” that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had already used chemical weapons and that “these weapons are trickling to Hezbollah.”
His statements do not represent an official assessment. Israeli defense officials say that while they are concerned about Hezbollah getting chemical weapons, they are assuming it has not yet done so.
However, senior officials in the military and government have said that Israel has proof that Assad used chemical weapons against his own population.
“There is definitive proof and hard evidence indicating that Syrian President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons against the rebels in Syria,” an unnamed senior political official said on Monday, speaking at a session of MKs. “We aren’t estimating their chemical weapons use based on intelligence reports. We have proof, we’re beyond proof.”
The official was clearly referring to the United States, which for the first time over the weekend said the intelligence community had varying conclusions on whether Assad’s forces had indeed used chemical weapons.
“Every intelligence source and intelligence agency has been updated,” the official said. “No one has a shred of doubt on the matter.”
According to the official, it is impossible to calculate when the civil war in Syria will end.
“The situation in Syria is long term,” the official said. “Whoever thinks that there’s a quick way out from Syrian imbroglio is mistaken. This is going to take years.”
The official denied rumors that the Israel Air Force had struck a supposed “research facility” in Damascus this week, saying, “We have no reason to fly in Damascus’ skies. The rebels are trying to drag others into the game. This much is clear.”
The official emphasized that the greatest danger Israel perceives is the transferal of Syrian chemical weapons to Sunni or Shiite terrorists.
Read more at Israel Hayom.