Hizbollah Vows to Avenge Israeli Shootings
The Lebanese Hizbollah movement on Saturday vowed to retaliate against Israel after its soldiers shot and wounded two Lebanese youths throwing stones across the border, reported Reuters.
"This is a new Zionist crime and a huge violation that we cannot overlook," the group said in a statement, cited by the agency.
"The Islamic resistance knows the suitable time and place to punish the criminals and deter them from aggression, especially [since] this Zionist crime will be ignored by the international community, like other crimes in the past," the statement added.
Israeli soldiers opened fire on the two youths on Friday as they threw stones at Israeli positions behind Fatma Gate, a defunct border crossing between Lebanon and Israel, witnesses said, cited by the agency.
The United Nations has asked Beirut to restrain the actions of its civilians at the border, saying they could cause an escalation of violence.
Israeli military officials said their troops opened fire as a group tried to destroy a border fence in an area where Lebanese regularly demonstrate against Israel and throw stones.
The Lebanese government refuses to deploy the army on the border, which is under Hizbollah control. Civilians regularly gather at border points out of curiosity or to vent anger against Israel.
The border remains a flashpoint, despite Hizbollah's war of attrition having forced Israel to end its 22-year occupation of south Lebanon last year.
The group has been waging a low-intensity war against Israeli troops occupying Shabaa Farms.
The shootings took place on a day of reportedly heavy Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace, the fourth consecutive day of such action since Hizbollah guerrillas fired on Israeli troops in a disputed part of the Lebanon-Israel border.
Israeli jets flew low over southern Lebanon. They also circled over the western and central Bekaa Valley, northeast of where Hizbollah fighters fired rockets on Israeli positions in the Shabaa Farms on Monday.
Witnesses said an Israeli reconnaissance plane circled over the Shabaa Farms and Kfar Shouba, which is inside Lebanon and near the spot from which Hizbollah fired. Israeli troops were also seen reinforcing their outposts in the Shabaa Farms, said the agency.
Meanwhile, visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq Shara commented on the Israeli violations, accusing the Jewish state of altering the rules of the game, saying that if Israel insisted on its policies, “Syria will also change the game's rules,” according to a report by Al Jazeera satellite channel.
Shara arrived in Beirut Friday for talks with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud.
Reports said that Syrian President Bashar Assad cut short his Wednesday visit to Cairo after he received a report of an imminent Israeli attack on his country – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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