Israel eyes events in Lebanon and Egypt neighbours with concern
Israel is watching developments in Lebanon - and in Egypt - with deep concern.
"We are following events very closely," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor told the German Press-Agency dpa Wednesday of the turmoil on the other sides of Israel's northern and southern borders.
The Israeli government declined to comment further, but the implications of the instability in the countries to its north and south was expected to have dominated a parley between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and international Middle East envoy Tony Blair in Jerusalem late Tuesday.
Israelis fear that a radical Shiite movement which denies its right to exist, sponsored by their worst enemies - Iran and Syria - now effectively enjoys control over all of Lebanon.
"The concern that Lebanon is on the fast track to becoming an Iranian satellite under Hezbollah control has widespread strategic implications," a government official told the Jerusalem Post on condition of anonymity.
"Lebanon has fallen. Egypt is being tested," proclaimed Israel's largst-circulation daily, Israel Ha'yom, of the crisis in Lebanon and the anti-government demonstrations in Egypt.
"Nasrallah has completed his takeover," adds a stand-first.
A commentator in Israel's Yediot Ahronot daily opined that Israelis "should become accustomed to the idea that we have a shared border with Iran in the north."
Concern over Egypt was less intense, with another Yediot Ahronot analyst saying: "Egypt is neither Tunisia nor Lebanon. The Egyptian security forces are experienced in suppressing demonstrations."
"An earthquake shook the region yesterday. It measured 8 on the Richter scale in the north, and 3 in the Land of the Nile," wrote a leading commentator in Israel Hayom Wednesday.