Ben-Eliezer Holds Syria Responsible for Developments in Lebanon
Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer has said that "Syria is responsible for what happens in Lebanon.”
Ben-Eliezer’s remarks came in response to Hizbollah missile fire on an Israeli army base on the northern border two days ago, said the radio, cited by Haaretz newspaper.
Ben-Eliezer also said that “Syrian President Bashar Assad should make sure that Hizbollah doesn't escalate the situation.”
"Israel won't strike at Hizbollah as long as it hides behind women and children, but will strike at those responsible for what happens," he added, in an apparent reference to Syria, according to the radio.
There were no casualties in the attack and only light damage.
Israel responded by firing four mortar rounds into open countryside facing the outpost.
Meanwhile, diplomatic sources in Beirut speculated on Tuesday that Hizbollah’s attack had been in response to a reported Israeli artillery bombardment of the Lebanese side of the Blue Line on Sunday, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
Five artillery shells reportedly exploded in Jabal Seddana and Birkit Nakkar south of Kfar Shuba.
Four days earlier, a dozen Israeli shells were reported to have hit the same place.
Explosions are occasionally heard in the Kfar Shuba area. But the sources are usually either Israeli military maneuvers in the Shabaa Farms or dynamite being used to blast a path for the new Israeli border fence, said the paper.
According to a European diplomat, Israeli military intelligence categorically denied that shells had been fired into Lebanon last week, said the paper.
“Instead, Hizbollah had made up the bombardment to justify launching Monday’s attack,” the diplomat said, quoting the Israeli intelligence official.
But Hizbollah said it needed no excuse to launch military operations against occupied territory.
“It’s completely untrue that the operation was connected to any reported shelling of Kfar Shuba,” a Hizbollah spokesman said, quoted by the paper.
“The resistance operation came during the normal course of our operations in the Shabaa Farms.” – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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