Ben-Eliezer: Hezbollah recruiting Israeli Arabs

"[Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan] Nasrallah is trying to create a split in Israeli society and cause as many attacks as possible to crumble Israel from inside," the security official said.

Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer expressed the same sentiments Monday. "The Hezbollah footprints are found almost everywhere," he said.

Ben-Eliezer declined to comment on reports Hezbollah was behind the destruction of the Merkava tank in the Gaza Strip last week. However, he said all of the terrorist organizations are cooperating to carry out attacks. "I don't differentiate between Tanzim or Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad. I think today they are competing over who is worse, so it doesn't matter," he said.

Ben-Eliezer made his remarks at Beit Hanassi, the president's compound, after briefing President Moshe Katzav during a periodic update.

Ben-Eliezer also reacted to a senior Israel Defense Force intelligence official's assessment that the Kassam-2 rockets used by Hamas against Israel last week are not a threat to cities.

"If the Kassam-2 is fired from the seam-line (the invisible frontier between Israel and the West Bank), it won't hit population centers in the state of Israel," Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aharon Ze'evi Farkash said Sunday on Israeli television. He also said he reached that conclusion after the IDF built a replica of the rocket, test-fired it, and found that it has a range of just under four miles.

"It's his job to also calm people," Ben-Eliezer said. "We are dealing with a reality in which the developmental stages of the Kassam are progressing all of the time. We have to explain to everyone that using the Kassam is crossing red lines. You all saw the pictures on TV and their significance. When we say this, it isn't to scare anyone, but to warn that we are facing weapons which can bring about escalation."

Several more rockets have been fired since the Gaza incursion. There were no casualties, but damage was caused to army bases.