Hizbollah Threatens to Strike Israeli Settlements if Lebanon is Hit
The Lebanese Hizbollah movement threatened Saturday to strike settlements in northern Israel if the Jewish state attacks Lebanon.
"We declare clearly that any aggression against Lebanon under any pretext will be a foolish Israeli action and we will respond severely and comprehensively," a Hizbollah statement said.
"All the Zionists, soldiers and settlers, will be targets to the attacks of our heroic fighters," it said.
Hizbollah, which kidnapped three Israeli soldiers in an ambush earlier Saturday in the Shabaa Farms border area, said the "captured Zionist occupation soldiers will remain in our hands until we achieve the objective of this blessed operation."
"The enemy knows that it has no other option," it said.
"It is time for the Zionists to learn that Lebanon will not cede to any threat and that it (Lebanon) is the cemetery of the aggressors," it added.
A spokesman of Hizbollah revealed in an interview with Albawaba.com that the party had received a message from Israel threatening to bomb Beirut if the group refuses to releaser the soldiers.
He added also that "Hizbollah's morale is boosted."
Hizbollah, in a statement released later on Saturday dedicated its military operation to 12-year-old Mohammed Al Durra who was killed at the hands of the Israeli soldiers last Saturday.
In the meantime, Israeli Defense Deputy Minister, Ephraim Sneh, said that Syria was responsible for the actions by Hizbollah and will be "the address for our response" if the violence does not stop.
"We consider Syria, which controls Lebanon, as responsible for everything that happens there," Sneh told CNN television.
Syrian officials must "do their utmost to stop the aggression immediately in order to prevent an extension of this aggression and all the inevitable results that may come out of it," he said.
Hizbollah said Saturday it had kidnapped three Israeli soldiers in an ambush in the disputed Shabaa Farms area on the border between Lebanon, Israel and Syria, and their abduction was later confirmed by Israel.
It followed the killing by Israeli soldiers of two Palestinian refugees who were demonstrating on the Lebanese side of the border over the wave of unrest in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that has left more than 80 people dead, most of them Palestinians.
AFP quoted Palestinian Communications Minister, Imad Faluji as saying that the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers was a "natural reaction" to the killing of Palestinians during a week of deadly Israeli-Palestinian clashes.
"This is a natural reaction to the killing of Palestinians."
"What happened there was expected and I hope that Israel has understood the message that they should not escalate with Lebanon in order to avoid a more violent and stronger reaction (to the wave of unrest)," he added -- Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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