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Israel warns Lebanon to halt Hezbollah’s threats

After Israel raided a Hezbollah site near the Syrian border, the Lebanese movement vowed to strike back

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Israel warned Lebanon on Friday to quash threats emanating from Hezbollah, after its air force raided a site belonging to the Lebanese Shiite group.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah threatened that it will respond to Israel’s Monday night air strike near the Syrian border that killed two of its members.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied carrying out the strike, in keeping with its silence on at least three such attacks over the past year targeting suspected Hezbollah-bound convoys of advanced weapons from civil war-torn Syria.

In an unusually forthright public statement about the incident, Hezbollah said on Wednesday it would “choose the time and place and the proper way to respond” against Israel, with which it fought a war in south Lebanon in 2006, Agence France-Presse reported.

Israel has frequently promised to target Lebanon at large in any new conflict, noting that Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim militia, had politicians in the Beirut government.

“It is self-evident that we see Lebanon as responsible for any attack on Israel from the territory of Lebanon,” Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Friday.

“It is the duty of the Lebanese government to prevent any terrorist attack - whether a terrorist or missile attack, or any other kind - on the State of Israel,” he told Israel Radio.

Israel is technically at war with Lebanon and Syria.

Israeli analysts have been mostly dismissive of Hezbollah’s threat this week, arguing that its fighters were too busy helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad battle a three-year-old rebellion to open up a new front with Israel.


(With AFP)