Report: Israel says Haifa attack was staged ... by Iran (Update: Huh? Saudis blame Hezbollah, not Israel, for crisis) (Update: Hezbollah hacked IDF computer?)

According to a news alert aired about twenty minutes ago on Fox. They’re saying it wasn’t a rocket, it was a missile — one known to be manufactured in Iran. And therefore the prime suspect isn’t Hezbollah but Iranian Revolutionary Guard units operating in southern Lebanon.

A quick hit on Ynet says otherwise.

Looking for more details. In the meantime, both Fox and CNN are reporting that Israel’s bombed the road that connects Beirut to Damascus.

Seemed like a good time to start a new war thread.

Update: I’m going to cut the video of the Fox news alert, but it’ll be awhile before it’s up. Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad is warning Israel not to attack Syria:

“If the Zionist regime commits another stupid move and attacks Syria, this will be considered like attacking the whole Islamic world and this regime will receive a very fierce response,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in a telephone conversation with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Update: LGF says CNN reported the Iran story, too.

Update: “On one question, Iranians showed almost total agreement, regardless of age or gender. When asked if the state of Israel is illegitimate and should not exist, 67 percent agreed and only 9 percent disagreed.”

Update: The Jawa Report explains the significance of Haifa.

Update: As promised, here’s the vid. It aired around 5:40 ET.

Update: Via the Jawa Report, Stratfor cites the call-up of Israeli reserves as evidence that this is Armageddon with Hezbollah.

Update: All the proof you’ll ever need of how worried the region is about Iran: Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia — is blaming Hezbollah, not Israel, for the crisis.

I’m speechless:

In a significant move, Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s political heavyweight and economic powerhouse, accused Hizbullah guerrillas – without naming them – of “uncalculated adventures” that could precipitate a new Middle East crisis.

A Saudi official quoted by the state Saudi Press Agency said the Lebanese Hizbullah’s brazen capture of two Israeli soldiers was not legitimate.

The kingdom “clearly announces that there has to be a differentiation between legitimate resistance (to Israel) and uncalculated adventures.”

Update: Just across the wire: “loud noises” heard in Beirut. Fox is now reporting, at 10:56 ET, an airstrike in a suburb south of the city.

Update: The online jihad escalates: according to Israeli TV’s Channel 10, via the Counterterrorism Blog, Hezbollah managed to hack into the IDF’s computer system before attacking.

Olivier Guitta’s post also contains this nugget:

Yossi Peled, ex Israeli Commander of the Northern area, stated to Yediot Aharonot: ” Tsahal’s mission is today to strike at Hezbollah with such force that the movement won’t survive. Even though Iran is hiding behind Hezbollah, we must focus on the immediate threats against Israel. And those are coming from Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria.”

Some commenters over at Ace’s site think Iran is trying to lure Israel into a direct confrontation. I think that theory’s nuts, which is also why I’m skeptical as to the Fox report about the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Iran would be foolish to confront Israel before it had the bomb; Israel would be foolish to confront Iran when it’s already fighting on two fronts. I suspect the mullahs will stick to proxy warfare and, per Peled’s remarks, Israel will stick to accommodating them.

Update: Ultraviolet Dreams pronounces this post hopelessly convoluted. Heh. It is a bit untidy, come to think of it.

To clarify: I think Israel does suspect Iranian guards of having launched the missiles that hit Haifa. But for the reason mentioned in the last update, I think they want to avoid war with the mullahs — and vice versa. Which is why Peled is emphasizing that the fight is against Hezbollah, not Iran.

I haven’t seen any reports in the Israeli papers about the Revolutionary Guard being responsible for the Haifa attack, so as far as I know, the story’s dead.

As for the Saudis, they fear their Iranian Shiite rivals will get the bomb and dominate the region. So they’re using this as an opportunity to turn Arab public opinion against the mullahs by blaming the crisis on Hezbollah.