Israel’s army chief orders IDF land, sea and air forces to prepare to defend the country’s northern borders and interests

Defense minister Ehud Barak said the entire national defense system is fully prepared and alert as heavy Israeli reinforcements, including homeland defense units, were rushed Thursday to northern Israel.
Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi gave these orders Thursday, Feb. 14, 24 hours after a bomb killed Hizballah’s military commander Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus.
debkafile‘s military sources report that he took these unprecedented steps following a stream of incoming intelligence updates reporting that Iran, Syria and Hizballah had decided not to let Mughniyeh’s death pass without an immediate response.
Israeli forces have been placed on the highest level of preparedness against possible Syrian or Hizballah cross-border strikes. Rocket attacks by Hizballah against Israeli civilians are also taken into account, as well as possible Syrian air force incursions into Israel air space.
Jerusalem has denied Hizballah and Iranian allegations of responsibility for the death of the Lebanese master terrorist.
debkafile reported earlier Tehran, Damascus, Hizballah leadership are coordinating efforts to wreak their revenge for Mughniyeh’s death, convinced that Israel’s Mossad planted the small bomb in the master terrorist’s Mitsubishi Pajero in the heart of the Syrian capital. Wednesday night, all Hizballah’s top leaders went to ground. Hassan Nasrallah did not attend the funeral Thursday but broadcast his eulogy by video. He declared if Israel wants war, so be it. “The blood of slain commander will lead to Israel’s demise.”
Our sources report that the long-sought terrorist was finally dispatched by a small explosive inserted between the driver’s seat and the back seats, which destroyed only one part of the vehicle, leaving the front and rear intact. Mughniyeh was driving alone to a reception marking Islamic Revolution Day at the Iranian embassy in the Romana district.
debkafile‘s counter-terror experts note that the way the explosion was set up recalled the method used by the hit team which killed the Jihad Islami senior operative Ghaleb Ghali in Damascus in October 2004. Then, too, Syria held Israel responsible.

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